Whether you call it a pasty, an empanada, a pastel, a calzone, a patty, a bridie, a turnover, or some other name from the seemingly endless list, there’s clearly something fundamental about a flattened piece of dough folded over to contain a savory or sweet filling and baked or fried. Here at Al Gusto we call them hand pies and we’ll eat them no matter what you call them, thank you very much. When we started this blog, we discussed possibly featuring a different type of hand pie each month, but apparently that was a little too structured for us. So it looks like hand pies will be an occasional feature, beginning right now.
Faced with a long list of vegetables that must be eaten in a timely manner, I naturally have started thinking of dishes that use multiple vegetables. We had some red potatoes, an onion, a yellow squash, and some chard from our CSA share, so I decided to make a filling for hand pies by roasting everything but the chard, which I sautéed in olive oil with some previously roasted garlic. I chopped it up and mixed it all together and Robert is your mother’s brother. Actually Robert is my brother, but I don’t have children (praise science!).
For the dough, I combined 8 oz. (by weight) of unbleached flour, a teaspoon of kosher salt, and a teaspoon of baking powder in the food processor and gave it all a few blasts to mix it. Then I added 4 oz. (one stick) of unsalted butter that was cut into rough cubes. I processed all of that for about 45-60 seconds until it started to come together. I flattened the dough into a disk, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Then I rolled it out, cut some circles about 6 inches in diameter, and placed those on parchment paper on a baking sheet. I put a large spoonful of filling on each circle, brushed the edge with egg wash, folded the circle over the filling to form a half moon, and used a fork to seal the edges. Then I brushed the hand pies with egg wash, put them in a 400F oven for about 15-20 minutes, pulled them out, and let them cool for as long as I could wait.
A hand pie is a nice alternative to a sandwich for lunch. This is where the savvy bloggers ask their readers something like “So what’s your favorite kind of hand pie?” to stimulate discussion in the comments section. But I just don’t see how anyone could pick a favorite.