Caramelized Onion, Butternut Squash, and Sage Hand Pies

Recipe modified from Lisa Ludwinski’s cookbook Sister Pie. 
Servings 10 Hand Pies



  • 1 1/2 pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • splash apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh sage leaves
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • pinch ground black pepper

Hand Pies

  • all butter hand pie dough, rolled into 20 (4 inch) rounds, laid on parchment-lined baking sheet, wrapped in plastic in fridge
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Filling: Preheat oven to 400° F. Place cubed butternut squash on baking sheet and toss evenly with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt. Transfer to over and roast for 40-50 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove baking sheet from the over and set on a cooling rack. You can do this step up to two days in advanced ad store in refrigerator in an airtight container. 
  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and brown sugar. Decrease heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often until onions turn golden brown. After about 10 minutes add the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt then cook again for 10 minutes until onions are a deep brown color. If onion is sticking in pan, add apple cider vinegar. 
  • In a large bowl, combine the squash and onions with sage and goat cheese. Use a wooden spoon to mix together. The goat cheese will soften and bind the ingredients together. Taste and adjust by add salt or pepper if needed. Cover with plastic and transfer into the refrigerator to cool. 
  • Preheat the over to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
    Removed the rolled-out pie crust rounds from the refrigerator and lay half of them out on a lightly floured surface. Brush each entirely with beaten egg. Spoon 2-3 tbsp of squash filling onto the center of each round. Place the remaining pie crust rounds on top of each pile of filling. Use a fork or pinch the edges of the bottom to seal the hand pie. Use flour to prevent the pies from sticking to the fork or tray. Repeat with the remaining hand pies. 
    Place pies 1/2 apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a paring knife to cut a tiny slit on the top of each pie, the brush the edges with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle the poppy seeds and sea salt evenly on the tops. 
    Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes until the hand pies are deeply golden brown. Place on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before eating. 
    Store leftover hand pies, in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, in the fridge for up to 2 days. 
Hand Pie Filling. Butternut squash, caramelized onion and sage.

All-Butter Pie Dough

Recipe modified from Liza Ludwinski’s cookbook Sister Pie 


  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, straight from the fridge
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water-vinegar mixture (see below for details)


  • In a large stainless steel bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and stir to mix well. Place the sticks of butter in a bowl and coat on all sides with the flour mixture. Using a bench scraper, cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. work quickly to separate the cubes with your hands until they are all slightly coated in flour. Using bench scraped cut each cube in half. 
    Switch to the  pastry blender and begin to cut the butter with one hand while turning the bowl with the other. Continue to blend and turn until the largest pieces are the size of peas and the rest of the mixture feels and looks similar to Parmesan cheese.
  • Add the water-vinegar mixture all at once, and use the bench scraper. Scrape as much of the mixture as you can from one side of the bowl to the other, until you can’t see liquid anymore. Scoop, press and turn the dough until it forms one cohesive mass. 
  • Remove dough from the bowl, place it on a lightly floured counted, and use bench scraper to divide it into two equal pieces. Form into two balls, gently pat until any air pockets are gone. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for at least two hours. 
  • Water-Vinegar Mixture: fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with about 1 inch of water and freeze until completely frozen. Just after you mix your dry ingredients, grab it from the freezer and fill with water plus 2 tablespoons or so of apple cider vinegar. Let it chill on your counter while you mix the other ingredients for the dough. 
Super Bowl Sunday snack everyone will LOVE.

Sister Pie is a bakery in Detroit’s West Village on the east side of town. The menu consists with nontraditional flavor combinations that limits creativity. It’s one of my favorite places to stop in Detroit.