Hand Held Pies, Jar Pies, and Pot Pie with Savory Cheese Pastry and Taco Cheese Filling.

This is something I have been thinking about and turning over in my mind weeks before I made the taco soup (last week, 1/11/12, Spicy Taco Soup in Cumin Spiked Bread Bowls).  I froze about 3 pints that were left and I had planned to make up a pastry and add spices and cheese to form a savory cheesy pastry for  either chili cheese pies or taco pies.  My thinking was to make them up three ways.  As hand held pies, as pies in jelly jars, and as a pot pie using the regular foil pans traditional for pot pies you buy at the store.

Today it all came together and I had the one pictured for lunch.  It was REALLY GOOD!!  I am so glad I made these.  I only baked the one.  Everything else I wrapped in foil and put away in the upright freezer for another time.  These will be terrific for lunches, dinner and all I will need to do is turn on the oven and pop them in.  Set a salad along side and you have a meal.  My inspiration for the pastry was a Lucinda Scala Quinn episode on Mad Hungry I happened to see.  She was making up hand held chicken pies.

This recipe would also make 4, 9"  crusts, either single or 2 doubles.  This made me 7 hand held pies, 4 half pint jar pies and 1 regular pot pie in a foil pan.

Here is how I made the pastry:

16 T. room temperature butter
8 Oz. room temperature cream cheese
1/2 C. heavy cream
3 1/4  C. all purpose flour, plus more for the board when rolling
1 T. kosher salt
1/2 C. Vermont Cheddar Cheese Powder* or Parmesan cheese
1 t. Paprika
1/8-1/4 t. cayenne pepper

* I order this and keep it on hand from the King Arthur Flour catalog.

Add the cold cream, butter, and cream cheese to a large mixer bowl.  Blend until fluffy.  Using another bowl mix the flour, salt, seasonings, and cheese powder until well combined with a whisk.  Add the dry ingredients to the cheese and butter mixture and blend on the lowest mixer speed until it comes together as a dough.  Flour hands and work surface and form into 4 disks.  Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll and cut into appropriately sized circles.
Add filling to half of the circle.
Fold the dough in half and press the edge together crimping with a fork.
For pies in jars drape the circle of dough over a small juice glass and form.
Turn the half pint jelly jar upside down over the pastry and form.
Spoon in the filling and cheese.
The assortment of pies is ready to freeze or bake!!
To form pies roll the dough and cut into circles.  I used a 5" plate as a pattern.  Place 1/4 C. or whatever portion is appropriate to the size circle you have made and the thickness of your filling on half of the dough.  Sprinkle with cheese and fold the other half over and press the edges together.  Pierce the top with a fork to make a vent for the steam to escape.

If you are using jelly jars, fit them with the crust and fill appropriately.   Top with cheese and a disk of pastry.  Crimp the edges and pierce the top for the steam to escape.  Follow the same procedure for pot pie tins.

Wrap well and freeze.  When i baked the hand pie I preheated to oven to 400 degrees F. and baked for 15-20 minutes, peeking as not to burn.

I generally bake homemade frozen pot pies for an hour at 400 degrees.  These are smaller so I would go with 375 for 30-40 minutes then check for doneness.  If not done I would check at 5-7 minute intervals.


Sue said...

Very cute...I like the cheese powder idea too, as well as draping the over the smaller jar to get it in the canning jar.

lily said...

Hey thanks!! The draping over the smaller glass cuts WAY down on time and frustration. I have found that for the half pint straight sided jars the little glass "juice" size jars Kraft has put their cheese spreads out in for years is perfect. If you dust it with a little flour, it's really quick and easy!! I am reassured that my brain is still working when I can come up with things like this!! Thank You Lord.