Butternut Squash and Gruyere Pithivier Recipe

This savory butternut squash and gruyere pithivier recipe is packed full of flavor and perfect for cold days, not to mention how beautiful they come out!

Pithivier is just a fancy word for a hand pie, and this recipe is surprisingly easy. The flavors are warm and savory – buttery caramelized onions, sweet butternut squash, and nutty fried sage. The creamy gruyere cheese adds another level of rich flavor to the pithivier and perfectly complements the flaky puff pastry.

You can use store-bought puff pastry or make your own if you’re feeling fancy. These hand pies are simple enough for weekdays, but are also perfect as a side for holidays or at potlucks.

Tips for making this Pithivier Recipe

You can make your own puff pastry dough, or you can use store-bought! It really doesn’t effect anything with the recipe, it’s just all up to how much time and effort you want to put into it. This is a great recipe for rough puff pastry if you want to go the homemade route!

What is a pithivier?

Pronounced “pith-ih-vee-eer,” a pithivier is sometimes also called a hand pie. They’re round and made with two sheets of puff pastry with either a savory or sweet filling.

What’s the difference between a pithivier and a pie?

Honestly, not much! Pithiviers were originally created in the French town of (you guessed it) Pithiviers. They are, however, usually made with puff pastries, while pies are traditionally made with crust. Pithiviers are also a slightly different shape, with the filling creating a lump instead of a flat top with even sides.

Why should I fry the sage?

Frying fresh sage helps bring out a more intense, herbal flavor, as well as making the leaves nice and crispy. This is part of the reason you can use olive or avocado oil – the sage’s rich flavor basically overpowers any flavors in the oil. That being said, don’t use cheap or old olive oil, as that can overwhelm the sage.

Can I make more than 2 pithiviers with this recipe?

Yes! You can easily double, triple, or even quadruple this recipe, depending on how many people you are serving. You may need to bake them in batches to make sure each pithivier cooks evenly.

How to make this Butternut Squash Pithivier Recipe!

What you’ll need:

  • Yellow onion
  • Butter 
  • Avocado/olive oil
  • Butternut squash
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • Puff pastry – handmade or pre-made
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Salt
  • Egg for egg wash

Caramelize the onions in some oil and butter while the oven is preheating. Combine the onions with the sugar and cook until onions are brown and sweet. (You aren’t really caramelizing that many onions, so it won’t take as long as usual.)

While they are caramelizing, place butternut squash and onions on a large baking sheet and toss with oil and salt. Bake them in the oven until they’re tender, about 20 minutes.

Now heat the remaining oil in a small pan. When the oil shines and is heated thoroughly, add the sage and allow to crisp for about one or two minutes. Remove the sage (using tongs works well) and lay the leaves on a clean towel to soak up any excess oil.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and then cut four 5-inch circles out of the puff pastry. Lay two of the circles down on the backing sheet, then sprinkle with a little gruyere down in the center, followed by a crumbled fried sage leaf, some butternut squash, and a couple caramelized onions. Repeat that, and then brush the egg wash around the outer edge of the puff pastry. Lay another circle over the top and seal the edges with a fork.

Poke a hole in the top of the pithivier, then cut small slits in the top in a spiral design with a pairing knife. Don’t cut all the way through! (This part is optional, but the swirly cuts really help make this a true pithivier.) Repeat with the other two puff pastry circles, then brush the tops with more egg wash and bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. (The exact time depends on the size of your pithiviers and your oven.) If they are browned already after 20 minutes, go ahead and remove them from the oven If not, leave them in a little longer. Once they’ve browned, remove them from the oven and let them cool a little before serving.

Check out this video on how to make this super delicious and impressive Pithivier recipe!

More recipes you’ll love:

Butternut Squash and Gruyere Pithivier

Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 butternut squash peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • puff pastry handmade or 1 package of two sheets
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese finely shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water beat and combined for egg wash

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Caramelize the onions by heating 1 tbsp oil and the butter in a pan over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and sugar, combine and cook for 15-20 minutes or until onions are brown and sweet. While they are caramelizing, place butternut squash and onions on a large baking sheet and toss with 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tsp salt.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender. Now heat the remaining oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shines and is heated thoroughly, add the sage and allow to crisp for about 1-2 minutes. Remove the sage and lay on a clean towel to soak up the excess oil.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and then cut 4 circles about 5 inches wide from the puff pastry. Lay 2 of the circles down on the backing sheet, then sprinkle about 1 tbsp of gruyere down in the center, followed by a crumbled fried sage leaf, 3-4 pieces of butternut squash, and a couple caramelized onions. Repeat that, and then brush egg wash around the outer edge of the puff pastry.
  • Lay another circle over the top and seal edges with a fork. Poke a hole in the top of the pithivier then, using a pairing knife, cut small slits in the top in a circular spiral design (optional). Do not cut all the way through. Repeat with the other 2 puff pastry circles, then brush the tops with egg wash and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the particular size. Check after 20 minutes, and if they are browned already, remove. If not, leave in a little longer.
  • Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

  1. When scoring, be careful to only put a small amount of pressure on the knife. You don’t want to cut through to the insides, so this will just be a small slice into the pastry.

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