Fall Squash, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Crostata

Serves 6

For the Crostata

Ingredients

1/2 recipe Classic Flaky Pie Crust, recipe follows
1 small butternut squash
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup Caramelized Onions, recipe follows
1/2 cup Cherry Glen goat cheese

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, roughly 12 inches wide. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
  3. Peel the butternut squash.  Cut off the neck and reserve.  Cut the bottom of the squash in half and remove the seeds.  Drizzle the halves with olive oil, salt and pepper, place them on one of the prepared pans and roast until tender, about 20 minutes.  Puree the squash halves in a blender or food processor with salt, pepper, sage and smoked paprika.  Meanwhile, cut the neck of the squash into 1/2-inch cubes (you should have about 1 cup of cubed squash).  Sauté the cubed squash in olive oil with salt, pepper and thyme until just tender, about 8 minutes and set aside.
  4. Spread 2 tablespoons of pureed squash over the rolled pie dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Scatter the Caramelized Onions over the squash puree.  Sprinkle the squash cubes over the onions.  Gently fold the border of dough over the filling and pleat to make an edge.
  5. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Crumble the goat cheese over the crostata.  Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Tip for peeling winter squash: microwave the squash for a minute or two.  That’s not long enough to cook the squash, but it’s long enough to soften the skin and make it easy to peel.

For the Classic Flaky Pie Dough (Makes 2 LG or 12 SM tarts)

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strained ice cold water
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, butter and salt on low speed until the butter is the size of marbles.
  2. Quickly add the water and lemon juice in a steady stream and continue mixing for 30 seconds.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. It will look like a shaggy mess. Push it together, divide it in half, and shape into 2 disks. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for longer.

For the Caramelized Onions

Ingredients

splash of olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 sprig thyme
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Catoctin Creek Rye Whiskey

Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and thyme and cook until they onions soften.
  2. Turn up the heat and cook until the onions begin to caramelize (brown).  Add a little water to deglaze the pot and prevent burning. Cook until the onions brown again and carefully deglaze with whiskey (caution: the alcohol may flame).  Cook until the liquid evaporates.
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