We used to grow pumpkins in our village, those big orange giants were always the last ones to be picked up from the fields. They were the sign that the field work was over and that it was time to get ready for facing winter which is always long and boring in Ukraine. Pumpkins were sliced, seeds were gently placed on the paper, hidden on the top of the top of the stove waiting it’s time to be consumed. No one cooked anything from pumpkins, they were a part of animals’ food, at least in my family. As no one taught me anything great about this humble vegetable, my enthusiasm for incorporating it in baking hit me in Istanbul where it is much more respected. My first pumpkin loaf made me fall in love with pumpkins! Having moved to California, my food horizon got more widened, pumpkin is a big thing here, it is everywhere and it can’t be ignored. As soon the first leaves turn into all those magical colors, the shelves of the stores are seducing customers with all possible pumpkin food from pumpkin cookies to pumpkin butter. While I have been resisting all those beautiful products (too much sugar some of them contain!) pumpkin ravioli with sage and butter won my heart! Forever! Creating this pumpkin filling for my mini pies is my first step towards making ravioli one day! Meanwhile I am enjoying my pies, my hands are rolling dough for ravioli in other dimension.
2 cups all purpose flour (+ some extra for dusting)
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 ts sugar
1/2 tsp salt
150ml warm milk
3 tbps vegetable oil
1 egg lightly beaten for brushing
for the filling
250 gr sliced pumpkin
sage, 6 leaves
a pinch of nutmeg
a good pinch of salt and pepper
some oil for drizzling
2 tbsp of french cream (optional)
some chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C degree. Slice the pumpkin into chunks and place on the baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over them, place sage, season generously with salt and pepper. Cover the tray with foil and roast it around 30 mins, until the chunks are soft.
Meanwhile the filling is getting ready, prepare the dough.
In a big bowl sieve flour and add salt. In a smaller bowl mix warm milk with sugar and instant yeast and let the yeast get activated (leave it for 10-15 mins). Add the mixture of smaller bowl to a bigger one. Add oil and form a dough, dust the table with a bit of flour and knead it well. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl in a warm place until it doubles in size.
Time to come back to our filling. Blend all the ingredients in a blender. If your family members don’t like pumpkin so much adding some cream cheese can make a good trick. Check the filling if it needs extra seasoning. Add chopped parsley
Roll the dough out so that it is about 3mm thick and using glass or cutter, cut out circles. Place the filling and seal with your fingertips. Repeat until all the stuffing and dough is used up. Place the pie on the baking tray, brush with beaten egg and bake for 10- 15 mins, until golden.