Hand pies: The recipes - Omaha.com
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 1:00 am / Updated at 4:10 pm
Hand pies: The recipes

Apple Hand Pies

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes, plus chilling time for the filling and pies Servings: 12

cup raisins

1 cup rum, brandy or water

cup ( stick) butter

4 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and diced into -inch pieces

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

teaspoon cinnamon

teaspoon salt

1 cup toasted pecan pieces

Prepared pie dough for 2 single crust (9- to 10-inch) pies, 36 to 40 ounces

1 beaten egg

Coarse or decorating sugar for garnishing the pies

Rehydrate the raisins: In a small saucepan, combine the raisins with the rum, brandy or water, and heat over medium heat until the raisins are softened and plump. Drain the raisins before adding to the apples.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the apple slices, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, just until the apple starts to soften, 3 to 4 minutes (the slices should still be crisp). Remove from heat and stir in the raisins and toasted pecans. Spread the apple mixture onto a baking sheet to stop the cooking process and allow the apples to cool quickly, then cover and refrigerate until needed. This makes about 4 cups filling, slightly more than is needed for 12 pies; the extra filling can be eaten right away or used later to flavor pancakes or muffins or as a topping for ice cream. The filling will keep for up to 4 days, covered and refrigerated.

Divide the prepared pie dough into 12 even pieces, about 3 ounces each, and shape each into a small disk. On a lightly floured board, carefully roll each piece into a circle about 6 inches in diameter and about one-eighth-inch thick. The dough will be flaky and will probably crack on the edges; without working the dough too much, gently mold the dough with your hands as it's rolled to form as perfect a circle as possible. Carefully set the circle aside and continue rolling until all of the circles are formed.

Brush the inside of each circle with a very light coating of beaten egg, going all the way to the edge of the circle. Place roughly one-fourth cup of the apple filling in the center of each circle, slightly off to one side (to make it easier to fold over the dough to form the hand pie), but leaving a 1-inch border around the edge on one side. Carefully fold over half of the dough, lining the edges up to form a half-circle; you may need to support the dough as it's folded over to keep it from cracking. Gently press the edges down to seal the pie. Trim the edges to clean them up, or gently brush the top of the edge of each pie, then fold the edge in for a cleaner-looking edge. Continue until all 12 pies are formed.

Place the prepared pies on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate them, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the chilled pies and brush them with the egg wash. Use a small knife to slash 2 to 3 small steam vents in the top of each pie. Dust each pie with a sprinkling of coarse sugar.

Bake the pies, 1 sheet at a time (refrigerate the other sheet until ready to bake), on the center rack until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Rotate the pies halfway through baking for even coloring. Cool on a rack. The pies can be served warm or at room temperature.

Curried Lamb Hand Pies

Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes, plus chilling time for the filling and pies Servings: 12

4 tablespoons oil, divided

1 onion, cut into -inch dice

4 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

1 pound ground lamb

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 large boiling potato, cut into -inch dice (peeled or unpeeled)

1 carrot, peeled and cut into -inch dice

cup beef or vegetable broth

cup fresh or frozen peas

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Prepared pie dough for 2 single crust (9- to 10-inch) pies, 36 to 40 ounces

2 beaten eggs

In a large saute pan heated over medium-high heat until hot, add 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften. Stir in the curry powder, cumin and coriander and cook until the spices are aromatic and begin to toast, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring to combine.

Stir in the ground lamb, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the lamb is lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Taste the lamb and adjust the seasoning if desired. Add the wine and cook, scraping any flavorings from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and spoon the meat into a bowl.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the potato and cook, stirring frequently, until it just begins to brown. Stir in the carrot and broth. Cover the pan and steam the potatoes and carrots just until they are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Check while stirring to make sure the potato does not stick to the bottom of the pan.) Uncover the pan and add the peas, then the meat mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in the cilantro. Taste again and adjust the seasoning and spices if desired.

Remove from heat and spread the filling onto a sheet pan, then refrigerate it until the filling is chilled. This makes about 5 cups filling, more than is needed for 12 pies; the filling can be warmed and eaten, added to a soup, stew or other dishes as desired. The filling will keep for up to 4 days; covered and refrigerated.

Divide the prepared pie dough into 12 even pieces, about 3 ounces each, and shape each into a small disk. On a lightly floured board, carefully roll each piece into a circle about 6 inches in diameter and about one-eighth-inch thick. The dough will be flaky and will probably crack on the edges; without working the dough too much, gently mold the dough with your hands as it's rolled to form as perfect a circle as possible. Carefully set the circle aside and continue rolling until all of the circles are formed.

Assemble the hand pies: Brush the inside of each circle with a very light coating of beaten egg, brushing all the way to the edge of the circle. Place roughly one-fourth cup of the lamb filling in the center of each circle, slightly off to one side (to make it easier to fold over the dough to form the hand pie), but leaving a 1-inch border around the edge on one side. Carefully fold over half of the dough, lining the edges up to form a half-circle; you may need to support the dough as it's folded over to keep it from cracking. Gently press the edges down to seal the pie. Trim the edges to clean them up, or gently brush the top of the edge of each pie, then fold the edge in again for a cleaner-looking side. Continue until all 12 pies are formed.

Place the prepared pies on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate them, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the chilled pies and brush them with the egg wash. Use a small knife to slash 2 to 3 small steam vents in the top of each pie.

Bake the pies, 1 sheet at a time (refrigerate the other sheet until ready to bake), on the center rack until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Rotate the pies halfway through baking for even coloring. Cool on a rack. The pies can be served warm or at room temperature.

Note: The lamb can be replaced with lean ground beef if preferred.

FLAKY PIE DOUGH

Total time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time

Servings: Enough dough for 6 hand pies or 1 (9- to 10-inch) single-crust pie

Note: The recipe can easily be doubled to make 12 hand pies. If using a food processor, process one batch at a time, as most processors are not big enough to handle a double batch at once. The dough, with sugar, can be used for sweet or savory pies, as the sugar is not enough to noticeably sweeten the crust; however, it can be omitted if desired. The cider vinegar is used to help “shorten” the crust, improving the flaky texture. Though you might smell the vinegar as you roll the crust, you should not be able to taste or smell it in the finished pies.

2 cups (9.6 ounces) flour

Generous 1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

cup cold shortening

cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into -inch cubes

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

4 to 6 tablespoons ice water, more if needed

Directions:

To make the dough using a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the shortening and pulse until incorporated (the dough will look like moist sand). Add the butter and pulse just until the butter is reduced to pea-sized pieces.

Sprinkle the vinegar and 4 tablespoons water over the mixture, and pulse a few times to form the dough, then a few more times just until the dough begins to clump together to form a cohesive dough. If the dough is too crumbly and dry, pulse in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and mold it into a disk roughly 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Cover the disk tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Alternatively, to make the dough by hand, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the shortening and incorporate using a pastry cutter or fork (the dough will look like moist sand). Cut in the butter just until it is reduced to pea-size pieces. Sprinkle the vinegar and 4 tablespoons water over the mixture, and stir together until the ingredients are combined to form a dough. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until it comes together in a single mass. If the dough is too crumbly and dry, gently work in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mold the dough into a disk roughly 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Cover the disk tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

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