How cute are these little winter squash? Wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them, just knew they were too cute to pass up. These are honeynut squash, which are mini butternut squash.
Not surprisingly, honeynut squash tastes exactly like butternut squash.
Once roasted, six of these petit guys yielded about 12 ounces of pureed squash, so I also used kabocha squash (two mini kabocha). An abundance of miniature squash cuteness going on here.
Gotta have a few pumpkin/winter squash recipes. It’s that time of year. Hope you’re not tired of pumpkin/winter squash quite yet.
Continuing with my miniature theme, made these into bite-sized treats. They’re not overly sweet, so you can actually taste the pumpkin, and they have a good ratio of filling to phyllo.
They’re best warm out of the oven when the phyllo is crispy and flaky.
This recipe is based on a traditional Bulgarian recipe called tikvenik. I made a few little tweaks (hope that’s ok).
So much miniature cuteness…honeynut squash.
Kabocha squash…one of my favorite varietals (they have a sweet, creamy flesh).
You can make the puree ahead of time. Simply roast, scoop out the flesh, and mash. Add your favorite sweetener and spice (added cinnamon and cardamom).
Whenever possible, have everything ready to go (mis en place) before you start cooking/baking, so you don’t run around the kitchen like a crazy person (like me most of the time).
When you’re ready to bake, simply lay out your phyllo, brush with melted butter, spread on the pumpkin puree, sprinkle with toasted walnuts, and roll up into a log (see steps below).
Instead of slicing into bite-sized pieces, once the phyllo is rolled up, you could form into a spiral (which is how this recipe is traditionally made).
Lastly, when out of the oven, dust with powdered sugar.
Pumpkin, Walnut, and Phyllo Pastry
Adapted from Fresh Farm Markets
makes ~32 bite-sized pastries
3 cups of pumpkin/squash puree (from butternut, kabocha, hubbard, or your favorite winter squash)
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1 cup of sweetener (used 1/2 cup maple syrup + 1/2 cup brown or coconut sugar; you could use all sugar); more or less to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
8 sheets of phyllo dough
melted butter for brushing
powdered sugar for dusting
Roast the squash:
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds. lightly brush the inside of the squash with melted butter (or coconut oil). Place the squash, cut-side down, on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a bowl and mash. Combine with the sweetener, cinnamon, and cardamom to taste. Mix to combine. You can make the pumpkin puree ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.
Toast the walnuts:
Lower the heat to 350F.
Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Coarsely chop.
Form the pastry:
Take two pieces of phyllo (keep the rest covered to prevent it from drying out). Lightly brush one side of the phyllo with butter. Lay a second piece on top. Lightly brush the top of the phyllo with butter, then spread 1/4 of the pumpkin puree over the entire top of the phyllo (leave a little border on one end to seal the phyllo). Sprinkle the entire layer with chopped walnuts.
Carefully roll up the phyllo length-wise so that you have one log. Brush a little butter onto the edge of the phyllo to seal. Slice (a serrated knife works well) the phyllo into eight equal-sized pieces. Brush the tops lightly with butter. Lay the pieces on the parchment. Repeat with the remaining filling.
Bake (350F) for about 40 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown and crispy.
Dust with powdered sugar.