This "tourte au potiron" (French for "savory pumpkin pie"), is my kind of cold-weather comfort food. And it’s a real hit with the family, especially given the fact that everything is made from scratch.
As with any pie, the two parts that need to be properly executed to have a successful dish are the filling and the crust. The pumpkin filling is flavored with a hint of heat from red chili flakes, a bit of mascarpone cheese and a few cubes of Dubliner cheese for extra nutty saltiness. Perfect flakiness of the crust requires a few key steps. First, use cold diced butter and ice water and knead the dough as little as possible. Second, allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator (or freezer); before filling, lightly brush the bottom of the "tourte" with egg white to seal and "water-proof" the dough. Last, once the pie is folded, sealed and firmly pressed on the edges, brush the top of the pie with an egg wash. Preparing homemade pie crust is literally easy as pie; plus your meal will look rustic and taste delicious.
My philosophy is to not restrict my diet too much as long as I eat in moderation and work out regularly. An important thought to keep in mind during the holiday season!
Servings: 6 servings
⅓ pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
1½ cups day-old bread, diced
¼ cup soy chorizo (or ground meat), store-bought
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ cup Italian parsley
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
½ cup Dubliner cheese, diced
¼ cup olive oil, as needed
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, finely snipped
½ teaspoon black pepper
2½ cups all-purpose flour, + 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons sea salt (or regular salt)
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), diced
7 tablespoons ice water, as needed
2 tablespoons milk
Boiling the pumpkin:
Place the cubed pumpkin in a small pot with enough cold water to barely cover. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 20-22 minutes, until fork-tender. Set aside.
Making pumpkin filling:
In a pan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the bread, tossing it constantly. Add the soy chorizo. Season with red chili flakes, coriander and green onions. Stir well for 2-3 minutes, add the chives and 3 tablespoons parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pumpkin to the pan. Coarsely mash the pumpkin and cook for another minute, then transfer the mixture to a plate and let cool.
For the pot pie pastry:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a mixing bowl, combine 2½ cups flour and 1½ teaspoons salt and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Add the cold butter, 2 eggs and ice water. Using a pastry dough blender, blend until the mixture becomes a thick dough. Make sure not to over-mix it.
Dust a flat surface with the remaining flour. Place the dough and roll it out into 2 14"-diameter disks. Transfer one disk to an 11-inch pie pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
For the egg wash:
Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator. Brush the bottom of the pie with egg white using a silicone brush.
Add milk to the egg yolk and mix well. Set the egg wash aside.
Add mascarpone cheese to the cooled pumpkin mixture. Mix well.
Place the pumpkin mixture on the center of the dough. Using a flat spatula, even out the mixture, forming an 11"-diameter disk in the center. Cover with Dubliner cheese. Brush the outside edges of the pie with the egg wash, then place the second disk of dough on top of it. Fold the dough over the side; seal and crimp the dough folded over the side with your fingers.
Press the edges of the pot pie using a fork. Brush the dough with the egg wash using a silicone brush. Make 6 slits on the top of the pot pie using a paring knife. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes prior to baking.
Place the pot pie on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and bake for another 30-35 minutes, until the pie crust is golden.
Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
Instead of making one large pie, you could also form individual-serving sizes.
Adding bread to the filling helps absorb any moisture from the pumpkin and maintain a flaky crust.
Slitting a few vents into the dough on top of the pot pie prevents the filling from bursting out during baking.
For a meat version, I prepared individual pies made with ground turkey filling.