Hand pies are the cutest. These, made with a flaky pastry crust and stuffed with mushrooms and cabbage, are not only cute but delicious as well, with a real depth of flavor. We’ve come to expect nothing less from the recipes in Joshua Mc Fadden's Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, which is where we found this gem. The seasoning is rich, savory, and full of umami goodness. A handful of delicious snacking.
We found the filling recipe to make a bit more than the pies required, but that’s ok, it makes a good side, too.
Make the dough first, so it can chill as you prepare the filling.
Cut the butter into small cubes.
Toss the flour, salt, and butter in a mixing bowl and cut the butter into smaller pieces with a bench scraper or pastry cutter. Pinch and press the dough with your fingers to encourage the butter to form flattened pieces.
Gradually add about half the ice water as you toss the flour mixture with a fork to evenly distribute the liquid. You want to see very little loose flour in the bowl, so gradually toss while adding more liquid if necessary until the dough holds together with a little squeeze.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into a mound. Using the heel of your hand, press the mound to flatten it a bit, pushing away from you slightly to smear the butter into the flour.
Continue working and folding the edges of the dough back over on itself, keeping layers of butter intact, which will result in a flakier finished dough. Continue until the dough is no longer shaggy, but feels smooth without being sticky. Wrap the dough and place it in the fridge to chill for 20-40 minutes while you prepare the filling.
Prepare the filling as directed. Wash that leek well, are you getting that part? Halfing it lengthwise allows water to flow easily between the layers where grit likes to hide. Slice leek, mushroom, and cabbage as directed.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the mushrooms, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Scoop the mushrooms out into a bowl.
Heat another tablespoon of oil in the skillet and add the leeks, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat so that the leeks cook slowly, covering if they seem dry. Cook until they are fairly soft and fragrant, but not at all browned, about 3 minutes.
Add the cabbage to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and pour in 1/4 cup of water. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat and cook over medium heat until the cabbage has wilted about 5 minutes.
Uncover and cook the cabbage, tossing frequently, until it is very tender and starting to turn golden, another 8 minutes or so. Add the cooked cabbage and leeks to the bowl with the mushrooms.
Add the vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, Parmesan, a big squeeze of lemon juice, and a shake of hot sauce; toss to combine.
Taste and adjust salt, pepper, hot sauce, or lemon juice, until the mixture is highly savory and delicious. Let the filling cool completely before assembling the hand pies.
To assemble the hand pies, lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Gently shape each piece into a round and flatten by pressing with your fingertips until you have a disk that’s about 3” across.
Roll each disk into a round that’s about 7” in diameter.
Scoop out 1/8 of the filling and pile it onto the lower half of the dough round, leaving a 1’ border all around.
Brush the border lightly with water using a pastry brush or your fingertips. Fold over the top half of the dough round, tucking it in nicely around the filling, then gently press to seal the two layers of dough. Crimp by pressing the edges with a fork.
Repeat with the remaining hand pies, and chill the finished pies in the fridge while the oven preheats to 375° F.
When the oven is ready, cut 3 decorative slits in the top of each hand pie. Bake until the pastry is an even, rich light brown color, 30-40 minutes.
Let the pies cool on a baking rack and serve warm. You can also bake them ahead of time and store in the fridge; reheat for 10 minutes at 375° F to serve.
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