Pie Pockets

February 19, 2008 at 9:42 pm Leave a comment

Like most Americans, I love eating food in single, hand-held servings, especially when it can be frozen and conveniently heated up in my toaster oven at any time of the day. Unlike many, however, I’m a little bit squeamish when it comes to food additives and preservatives and food items with more than 7 or 8 ingredients. In an effort to negotiate my love for food pockets and my disgust for most frozen foods, I did a little experimenting with pie dough and my oven. It was a rather successful experiment.

pie-pockets.jpg

These pie pockets have apples, dried cranberries and walnuts in them (with sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger), but I figure you can pretty much put any kind of pie filling in there (or any savory pot pie or samosa filling). The key is to get a good dough going first.

 pie-dough.jpg

Making a good pie dough is an artform that my mom passed down to me, and her grandmother passed down to her. It’s simple, but specific, so please pay attention:

2 cups flour

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (must be cold – DO NOT MELT!!)

dash of salt

1/4 cup cold water

Mix the flour and salt. Cut the butter into small tabs, and drop it in the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, or a couple of knives, cut the butter into the flour. DO NOT mix up the butter with your hands. This process is going to take a little while, so you have to be strong and do your best to CUT the butter into the flour without getting the mixture warm or half-assing it with electric mixers. The butter/flour mix will eventually start to look like a loose sandy mixture, with clumps of butter about the size of small peas. At this point, toss some of the water in there and continue chopping it all up with the knives/pastry cutter. The water will make everything stickier. Now you can mold the dough mix into a ball with your hands, pressing it tightly into itself so it sticks together. If it doesn’t stick, add some more water.

Set the dough aside and prepare your counter for some rolling. You’ll want to spread a nice loose layer of flour down on the table, as well as on your rolling pin. Put the dough down on the counter, press it flat with your hands, and get rolling. You may want to split the dough in two so you don’t have as much to roll out all at once.

When you’ve got a nice flat, 1/4  – 1/2 inch piece of dough laid out, take a mug with a 3-4 inch mouth and use it as a stencil to cut out circles of dough. Take one circle, lay some pie filling on it, put another circle on top, and press the edges together. You may want to wet the edges with a little water to get the two pieces to stick together. Make sure you’ve got a nice seal so the filling doesn’t ooze out, and then take a knife or fork and poke a hole in the top of the pocket to let the steam out. Make a bunch of these until you run out of dough or filling. Bake at 350.

You can freeze them or just keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat – I don’t recommend using the microwave, definitely go for the toaster oven or oven.

pie-pocket-with-icecream.jpg

Goes great with icecream.

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Entry filed under: food.

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