It seems that almost every culture has its own version of the Hand Pie. There are the Empanadas, Samosas, Calzone, Cornish Pasties, Spanikopita and yes, even Pop-Tarts! But I’m calling these ones 'Hand Pies' for the very good reason that I intend for them to be eaten using only your hands, with one foot out the door to whatever after-school activity you’re heading to. This was my intention… however, I had too many distractions, started too late, and my son was all ready for soccer waiting for his pie, when I had to hand him a granola bar because the pies were still in the oven… but they were great the next day!
If you can't find 'Empanada Discos' in the freezer section of your grocery store, you can use puff pastry or make your own pie dough. We love our Olive Oil Crust recipe for these too. The store-bought ’discos’ are meant to be fried, but if you give them a brush of egg wash and pop them in the oven they’ll come out beautifully!
This recipe makes about 15 pies, and I’ve snuck a whole bunch of veggies in there because I’m sneaky like that ;) The cream cheese may seem like an odd ingredient, but it ensures the filling doesn't taste dry. It's a super versatile little pocket too, use any ground or chopped meat, or a combination of veggies, and I always love a little hot sauce on the side! xoxo Kirsty
Turkey & Mushroom Hand Pies (makes about 15)
15 empanada wrappers or 2 portions of pie crust/ puff pastry/ tart dough
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 oz (140g) mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 lb. (450g) ground turkey or chicken, feel free to use pork or beef too if you prefer!
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
pinch of chili flakes
1/4 cup chicken or beef stock
1/4 cup (60g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (30g) shredded cheese, we used Monterey jack
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash
If you’re using frozen wrappers or dough, make sure they are thawed (but not room temperature- it’s easier to work with chilled dough) according to package instructions before you’re ready to start assembling the hand pies.
Chop the onion, garlic and mushrooms. To speed things up, I blitz them all in a small food processor, it also helps hide the mushrooms, ‘cos #pickykids.
Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the onion, garlic and mushroom mixture over medium heat until soft. Add the ground turkey, cumin, oregano, Worcestershire sauce and chili flakes to the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until browned. Add the broth and let the mixture simmer over low heat for 5-8 minutes, until most of the excess liquid has evaporated.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cream cheese, shredded cheese and sliced scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
To make the hand pies, place the wrappers on a lightly floured surface. If you’re using dough other than pre-cut wrappers, roll out your dough to 1/8” (3mm) thick and cut out 4”-5" (10-12cm) circles, or squares. Fill each wrapper with 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Dip a finger in water and run your finger around the edge of the dough, then fold the dough in half to form a half-moon shape over the filling. Seal edges firmly using the tines of a fork.
Place the hand pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix egg with a splash of water and brush it over the pies. Bake until they are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
These travel really well and they are just as delicious eaten an hour or two after baking. For food safety, refrigerate after 2 hours if they haven’t all disappeared already! These can also be filled and shaped, and then frozen until ready to bake. Remove from the freezer, brush with egg wash and place straight in the oven, adding 10 minutes to the cooking time to ensure they’re heated through.