Cauliflower Gruyere Hand Pies

by angelika on August 26, 2012

I am a lover of all things pie. Have I ever told you that before? It’s a crust thing. I can honestly say that mastering pastry dough is my single most useful accomplishment in the kitchen. Pastry crust can be sweet or savory. It has so many useful applications. I just love flaky buttery crust. I think I like pastry best in savory dishes, but you know me and a good tart. I have yet to have a child refuse a vegetable when it’s covered in a yummy sauce and surrounded by pie crust. My own inner child included. It’s been cold this week, in that foggy morning, how can this be August in California kind of cold. It had me hankering for pot pie. This crust was originally destined for a caramel apple pie- but I never got around to it. By the time the week ended I had savory pie on my mind.

I was at a party last weekend, and some newlyweds were sitting at my table. One of the couples has a special fondness for apple pies, and was asking where to get a really good apple pie in the area. (My town is know for it’s apples, Gravenstein apples are prized for pies and applesauce, and are as ubiquitous in my small town as the grape vines known to Sonoma County.) I, of course, recommended she make one- and she looked at me like I had grown a second head. It was then I realized many people fear the pastry dough. I usually opt for the traditional method of making pastry in a bowl with a pastry cutter, by hand. I love the process. Today I am showing that it is as easy as 1-2-3, especially if you have a food processor. (and what newly married couple doesn’t register for one of those!)

In a food processor pulse the butter, shortening, salt, and flours about 8 times. You are looking for the butter to be broken into pea size pieces. With the machine running add the ice water through the feed tube. Run until is just comes together. Less than 30 seconds. Remove the dough to pastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can refrigerate up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and let it cook for a minute to cook out the raw flour taste. Add the cream and milk and whisk well. Add the shallots and thyme, and bring slowing back to a boil. One the mixture thickens, turn the heat to low and stir in the cheese. Stir until the cheese melts, then stir in the creme fraiche. Add salt and pepper and set aside.  

Cut the cauliflower into floretes and steam until al dente. Drain, and once they cool enough to handle dice finely. If the pieces are too big they break the dough. I don’t like to do a small dice before I steam the cauliflower though, as I lose some when I drain it.

Stir the cheese sauce into the cauliflower. I kept about 1/4 cup of sauce out, because I know my son and his need to dip things. You want the cauliflower to be swimming in the sauce, as a lot will get lost to the crust when you bake it.
Roll out the dough about 1/4″ thick. Cut circles the size you want. I used a 5″ stainless container as my cutter. You can use a bowl too. Transfer cut circles to a parchment lined baking sheet. Put a couple of tablespoons of filling on one side, then spread beaten egg around the edges to form glue. (if you can’t find your pastry brush, as some little person has run off with it- likely to paint the walls- I have recently discovered your fingers can double as a pastry brush in a pinch) Fold in half and crimp the sides together. Brush the tops with egg and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Cut a few vent holes. This recipe makes 8 pies. I made 4 for dinner and froze the other 4 at this stage. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
 Bake at 425 for 20- 25 minute. You are looking for the pies to be golden and bubbling. If some of the filling bubbles out, don’t worry. It will break right off once the pie cools. This is precisely why we used parchment on the sheet to begin with! Let the pie cool for at least 10 minutes before you cut into them. Serve warm.
Leftovers will keep a week, in an airtight container or ziploc bag in the fridge. I think they taste great cold, but the rest of my family disagrees. I will say that Q, my vegetable hating child, told me these were the best vegetable pies he has ever eaten. I will admit, that he clearly has already forgotten that he loves pot pie and always has. Pie being the vegetable enabler for adult and child alike. Truly, how can you refuse a vegetable when it’s surrounded by pie crust. That said, he did insist on some sauce on the side to dip his hand pie. One layer of cheese is never enough for that child.
5.0 from 1 reviews

Cauliflower Gruyere Hand Pies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A savory vegetable stuffed hand pie. The sister of the calzone, but with a flaky, buttery pie crust.
Author:
Recipe type: dinner, entree, lunch
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) very cold unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup very cold non hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons (about ½ cup) ice water
  • 2 tablspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • ⅔ cup cream
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • ¼ cup creme fraiche
  • 2 cups grated gruyere
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh pepper
  • 1 egg beaten, for egg wash
Instructions
  1. In a food processor pulse the butter, shortening, salt, and flours about 8 times. You are looking for the butter to be broken into pea size pieces.
  2. With the machine running add the ice water through the feed tube. Run until is just comes together. Less than 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the dough to pastic wrap and flatten into a disk.
  4. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. You can refrigerate up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  7. Whisk in the flour and let it cook for a minute to cook out the raw flour taste.
  8. Add the cream and milk and whisk well. Add the shallots and thyme, and bring slowing back to a boil.
  9. One the mixture thickens, turn the heat to low and stir in the cheese. Stir until the cheese melts, then stir in the creme fraiche.
  10. Add salt and pepper and set aside.
  11. Cut the cauliflower into floretes and steam until al dente. Drain, and once they cool enough to handle dice finely. If the pieces are too big they break the dough. I don’t like to do a small dice before I steam the cauliflower though, as I lose some when I drain it.
  12. Stir the cheese sauce into the cauliflower. You want the cauliflower to be swimming in the sauce, as a lot will get lost to the crust when you bake it.
  13. Roll out the dough about ¼″ thick.
  14. Cut circles the size you want. I used a 5″ stainless container as my cutter. You can use a bowl too.
  15. Transfer cut circles to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  16. Put a couple of tablespoons of filling on one side, then spread beaten egg around the edges to form glue.
  17. Fold in half and crimp the sides together.
  18. Brush the tops with egg and sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  19. Cut a few vent holes.
  20. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes, looking for a golden crust and bubbling filling.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Shoes For Little Feet August 26, 2012 at 6:46 pm

That hand pie looks really good, I maybe make it for my little ones, they would love it. Will add sugar and pepper.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: