Well-Fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: Butternut Pastry Bars

This week’s recipe includes butternut squash, olive oil and honey found at the Federal Way Farmers Market.

By Vickie Chynoweth, Special to the Mirror

This recipe was inspired by the Greek Festival. Although I did not make it to either the Tacoma or Seattle Greek Festival, it is one of my favorite yearly events.

The Greek festival always has Baklava and Spanakopita (spinach pie), both made with phyllo dough. These two dishes are my must-haves at the festival. Phyllo dough is very versatile. Even brie cheese can be wrapped in it along with many other great dishes. Phyllo dough makes a dish look scrumptious with the many layers of thin flakey crust.

Ingredients for this recipe are found at the Federal Way Farmers Market, which hosts its final market day of the season Saturday, Oct. 29. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. along South 324th Street behind The Commons mall.

Butternut Pastry Bars (Makes 18 servings)


4 cups butternut squash peeled & cubed, Amador Farms

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese

2 eggs

3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

16 ounces phyllo pastry dough

1/2 cup Ancient Trees Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

Syrup ingredients:

1 cup Novo Bees Honey LLC

1 cup water

1 cup finely chopped almonds (divided)

1 cup finely chopped pistachios (divided)

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

1 cinnamon stick

Pastry directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish by placing parchment paper to fit the bottom and sides. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Cut the neck off the butternut squash. Peel and cut into cubes. Place cubes in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover squash cubes with water and place in the microwave. Cook on high for 10 minutes then check to see if tender. Once tender, drain water and run under cold water to cool down slightly.

3. Add cream cheese to butternut squash and puree with a food processor or electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Mix in until eggs are evenly distributed.

4. Unroll phyllo dough and place a damp towel over the top of the dough so it does not dry out. Cut dough to fit the baking dish.

5. Mix olive oil and butter until evenly mixed. Place four sheets of dough in the dish and brush with olive oil/butter mixture. Add another four sheets of dough and brush with olive oil/butter.

6. Take one cup of puree, and pour over dough by moving in a side-by-side movement down the length of the baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of nuts evenly over the top of the puree. Add four sheets of dough brush with olive oil/butter and add puree then nuts. Repeat for a total of three layers ending with four sheets of phyllo dough on top. Reserve extra chopped nuts for syrup.

7. Evenly cut into 18 pieces. Place in the heated oven for 50 minutes.

8. Bars should be golden brown. Remove from the oven. Pour syrup evenly over the pastry bars. The syrup will absorb in each of the cuts made before baking. Place on a wire rack to cool.

9. The syrup will absorb while bars cool. Once cooled use parchment paper to lift out of the baking dish.

Syrup directions:

1. While pasty is baking make syrup. In a small pan combined honey, water and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add orange zest. Simmer until the syrup thickens.

2. Stir in the remaining chopped nuts.