Butternut Squash and Harissa Christmas Pastries

Butternut squash and harissa Christmas pastries

Suolainen joulutorttu (harissalla maustettu paahdettu myskikurpitsa, pekaanipähkinä ja sieniä)

Christmas time in Finland is synonymous with joulutortut, delicious puff pastry stars traditionally filled with plum jam.  While I enjoy them, Christmas can be a sugar overload, so I decided to make a savoury version.  The filling to my Beetroot Wellington was so tasty, that I tweaked the recipe and used it here.  I added a little spice by roasting the squash with smokey harissa paste and served the stars with a harissa yoghurt sauce and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.

Butternut squash Christmas pastries – makes 12 stars

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1cm dice

olive oil

1 tbsp harissa paste

1 shallot, finely sliced

100 g mushrooms, chopped into small pieces

0.75 dl/ 75 ml plant based cream (I used Planti creamy cooking with French herbs)

50 g fresh breadcrumbs

50 g pecans, chopped

1 x 500 g packet vegan friendly puff pastry sheets

oat milk for brushing

Oatly Turkish oatgurt and extra harissa paste to serve

Butternut squash Christmas stars – perfect served with a delicious red cabbage and orange salad

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.

Drizzle the squash with a few good glugs of olive oil, season well with salt and pepper and add the harissa paste and mix well.  Tip onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until tender.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and fry the shallots for 10 mins until tender. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 15 mins to remove most of their moisture.   Add the plant based cream and tip in the breadcrumbs, pecans and the cooked squash.   Mix the ingredients well, slightly mashing the squash and set aside to cool.

Half the pastry sheets into two squares and fold to form your desired shapes, (if you are not sure how to do this check out kinuskikkissa’s blog post for step by step pictures of how to create the star shape).

Place a spoonful of the squash mixture in the centre of each pastry star.  Transfer to a lined baking tray and brush the exposed pastry with a little oat milk.

Bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes at 220 degrees c.  until puffed up and golden

I served my stars with Oatly Turkish oatgurt mixed with a teaspoon of harissa paste.


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