Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing
Oh wasn't that a tasty dish to set before the king?
Back in October I made a squash dish that didn't work out quite the way I hoped. Fortunately it sparked the idea for another dish featuring delicata squash and other seasonal flavors. Once I found out November's #lovebloghop would feature squash I knew I had to include this recipe in the hop. It's a great mix of savory flavors with a touch of sweetness from the apple and sausage.
|A tasty dish for the king (or queen!) of the kitchen|
3 cups delicata squash (about 2 medium)
3 cups apple (about 2 large)
1 cup leek
1 package Al Fresco Sweet Apple Chicken Sausages (4 sausages)
2 T pear liqueur
1 T olive oil
1 T sage
1/2 T thyme
nutmeg to taste
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup AP flour, sifted
1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted
2/3 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sage
1 egg + 1 T cold water, beaten (eggwash)
Notes before you start: most of us make substitutions when we cook. With this recipe you can substitute acorn or butternut squash if you can't find or don't have delicata squash. Make sure you choose an apple variety that will hold its shape well during cooking. McIntosh, for example, will turn to mush and shouldn't be used in this recipe. I don't suggest substituting for the Al Fresco brand sausages. Not only are they fantastic, this recipe is really skewed towards the flavor of their Sweet Apple Sausage. Unless you absolutely don't drink alcohol I also wouldn't omit the pear liqueur. You should be able to find it in any full-service wine and liquor store. If you have Poire William use that. If you're looking for a high quality, but less expensive version, check out the Mathilde brand of fruit liqueurs. For the crust you can substitute 100% AP white flour or 100% wheat flour if you like. I prefer a 50-50 ratio which makes the crust soft and familiar to my palate while still providing a great nuttiness from the wheat flour. With as much butter as it contains you don't have to worry about anyone in the family mistaking this for "health" food! You can also make this like a savory double crust pie by doubling the pastry recipe above and using a pie plate instead of a souffle dish like I did (photo above).
Preheat oven to 400º F
Sift together the flours and salt. Add in the herbs and cut in the butter in tiny pieces. Combine with fingertips until mixture looks like fine crumbs or sand and is beginning to hold together in a dough. Slowly add the cold water, a little at a time, only using as much as you need for the pastry to form into a cohesive ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Wash and peel the apples and squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut each half in half lengthwise again so you have four long quarters. Slice these into 1/4" slices. Cut the peeled apples in quarters and remove seeds. Cut each quarter into 1/4" slices. Place all slices into a large mixing bowl.
Slice leeks and add to mixing bowl. Remove casings from sausage by scoring them lengthwise down the back and peeling off. Cut into quarters lengthwise and then slice. The Al Fresco sausage is already fully cooked. Combine with the apples and squash.
Toss the apples, squash, etc with the olive oil, pear liqueur, herbs, and seasoning. Toss well to combine. Spread on a pastry sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Reduce heat on oven to 350º F.
Place baked squash, etc into a souffle dish and cover with rolled out pastry. Or, line a pie tin with rolled out dough, fill with squash mixture, and cover with rest of dough. Make sure to leave a hole to vent the steam and brush pastry with eggwash. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cooked through. For an extra shiny crust baste 1-2 more times during cooking with eggwash.
Please check out these other great squashlove recipes or find us on Twitter at #squashlove.