Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trattoria Brown - Pocket Pies

Tomorrow is the first day of school at the University of Utah. My wife is getting her doctorate in vocal performance, and my son is working on his doctorate in playing-with-other-kids-at-preschool. In preparation, I decided to make a new, and portability conducive food: pocket pies. Traditionally, these pies are called pasties, but when I told my wife I was making pasties, she shot me a grin then laughed. From then on, pasties became pocket pies.

The nice thing about pocket pies is you can put whatever you want in them. We decided to use some of the mixed berry preserves on hand, as well as nutella. We even made a savory pocket pie, filled with eggs and bacon. Like I said, you can do whatever. In England, savory meat pies are wildly popular. One thought is to fill them with shepherd's pie, because, come on, everything's good with shepherd's pie.

The crust recipe come from Alton Brown and the Food Network. I cut-and-paste it here without changes. The fillings, however, are my own.



2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cups milk
1 egg mixed with 1 to 2 teaspoons water


In the bowl of a food processor, combine the baking powder, salt, and flour. Pulse for a few seconds, then pour into a large mixing bowl.

Add the shortening and knead it into the four with your hands until it is crumbly. Add the milk all at once and mix it with a spatula until it begins to come together. Lightly flour your hands and the countertop and turn the dough onto the countertop. Knead the dough ball, folding over ten to twenty times. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/3 to 1/2 inch thickness, then cut into rounds using a 2 1/4 inch ring. Roll each round as thinly as possible, or to five to six inch diameter. Spoon one to two teaspoons of filling onto the dough, brush the edges of half of the dough lightly with egg wash, fold over and seal the edges together with a fork, dipping it into flour as needed. Gently press down to flatten and evenly distribute the filling and snip or cut three slits into the top of the pie. Dock pies that are going to be deep-fried, instead of snipping or cutting slits.

To bake pies, preheat the oven of 350 F. Place finished pies onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake to twenty-five to thirty minutes, or until golden brown.

And here are the fruits of our labors.

I must say, we quite enjoyed the baked version of the pocket pie, but we also tried the cooked-in-butter version. It was, quite simply, the bomb. Ain't nothing made worse by cooking it in butter.

For this method, simply heat up butter in a pan and cook the pocket pie on each side for about two to three minutes, or until golden brown a rockin'.

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