Seeking hand held savoury pie advice... with juicy fillings?

Dear F52ers,

Looking for references, or suggestions about techniques, for making hand-held pies with' pot-pie like' fillings [oozy, but not runny], with a sturdy yet tender, flaky crust?

Not a fan of the Cornish type, although I like the shapes and look of them, I want some juiciness. Thanks!



Anitalectric April 12, 2011
I make a spelt crust empanada with vegetable filling and lemongrass coconut gravy that is like a handheld pot pie. Here are my tips:

The best one is learned from my Colombian grandma. Use a rectangular piece of plastic saran wrap to fold the dough over the filling so that it doesn't break. Here is a more explicit explanation:

Tear yourself a piece of plastic wrap about 12" long.
Spread a thin layer of oil on the plastic so the dough doesn't stick.
Place a golf ball sized piece of dough on the bottom half of the plastic wrap.
Fold the plastic over top and roll out a circle about 1 cm thick.
Place a heaping spoonful of filling in the center.
Pick up one side of the plastic wrap and use it to position half of the dough circle over top of the filling, and then smoosh it down to meet the other edge.
Use a cup or a bowl to cut away the extra dough and get a perfect rounded shape.
Peel back the top plastic, trim away excess dough, and crimp edges, if necessary.*
You can pick up the empanada with the plastic and easily transfer it to a try while you make the rest.

This works for all kinds of dough. If it breaks, it might be too cold or not have enough fat in it.

*Crimping edges is necessary for baked empanadas or flour-based crust empanadas. For fried masa harina empanadas (Colombian style) you don't have to do this.

Another tip, regarding the filling, is to make it ahead and then chill it. That way, it will not be runny while you are assembling the empanadas. When they are served (hopefully, piping hot) the filling will be back to gravy texture.

A tip for flaky crust is not to skimp on whatever fat you are using. If you are baking, I also recommend brushing the tops with something like coconut milk or oil to "moisturize."
sdebrango April 11, 2011
I have made chicken hand pies like a chicken pot pie, use Martha Stewarts recipe for cream cheese pastry it holds together very well:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Use my food processor comes out really nice every time. The cream cheese makes for a sturdy yet tender crust.
Kitchen B. April 11, 2011
In Nigeria, we make a 'meat pie', with a saucy filling of mince, carrots, potatoes and green paprika. The potatoes are lightly crushed to create the bond, as well as some flour but...see
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