Whether you serve them as an appetizer or to round out a soup-and-salad meal, hand pies always hit the spot. The only trick is to serve them hot. Should they need reheating, don’t microwave them. That will heat the filling but make the pastry soggy. Instead, pop them in a 350°F oven for a few minutes, They’ll emerge hot, fragrant, and fully revived.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Charmian from The Messy Baker.
Prep Time: 45 mins. | Cook Time: 15 mins. | Makes: 40 hand pies.
1 pound white button mushrooms
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 300-gram package chèvre, room temperature
1 large egg
2 teaspoons milk
2 450-gram packages frozen puff pastry, thawed
1. Quarter the mushrooms. In a food processor fitted with a blade or a blender, chop the mushrooms in batches until they resemble couscous.
2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, salt and a good grinding of fresh black pepper. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and lemon zest, and cook until the mushrooms are soft. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
3. In a large bowl, mix the chèvre with the lemon juice until smooth. Add the mushroom mixture and combine until well blended. Cover and chill for an hour until set. This can be done the day before.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking pans with parchment.
5. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk together until smooth to make the egg wash. Set aside.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to 1/8-inch thick. Using a tart cutter or empty 28-ounce (796 mL) can, cut 4-inch circles. You should get 10 per sheet.
7. Brush the edge of each circle with egg wash. Place 1 tablespoon of mushroom mixture in the centre, fold in half to form a half-moon, and pinch the edges shut. With the tines of a fork, crimp the edges, then poke vents in the top. Place the hand pie on the parchment lined pan and brush top with more egg wash. Repeat with remaining pastry sheets and filling.
8. Bake one sheet at a time for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
This recipe can be halved. However, if you want to have lots on hand for guests, you can make them ahead of time. Just prepare the recipe to the point of the final egg wash. Freeze the unbaked pies on a baking sheet until firm (about 30 to 60 minutes), then transfer to a plastic freezer bag. When ready to bake, let the hand pies warm at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Frozen unbaked hand pies will keep for up to 3 months.