Tourtiere for a Cold Winter's Day

By • January 20, 2014 2 Comments

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Tourtiere for a Cold Winter's Day


Author Notes: Tourtiere is a classic French Canadian meat pie, usually made with pork and onions. Mine has apples, sage, and nutmeg, too. The filling here is adapted from my mom's recipe, which is adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. The crust is adapted from the blog Chez Pim. It’s kind of a cross between regular pie crust and puff pastry. And there’s nothing wrong with that.allyeats

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Serves 8

The Crust

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 225 grams (2 sticks) salted butter
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten

The FIlling

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large apple
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup water
  1. Start your pastry. Cut the butter into the flour (I like to use my trusty pastry blender, but I imagine the food processor would work just fine, too). Once the mixture is crumbly, rub the butter in with your hands a bit, just to make sure it’s really smeared into the flour. This will help it get super flaky later on.
  2. Once the mixture is like wet sand, add the 1/4 cup cold water and stir everything together with a fork until it forms a ball of dough. A lot of pastry recipes warn against overmixing the dough, but I haven’t had any problems with this one. There’s such a high butter-to-flour ratio that you’ll be fine. Put the dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, gather the ingredients for your filling. Chop up the apple and onion pretty small so they’ll blend into the pork later on. Chop the sage as small as possible so it gets distributed throughout the filling.
  4. Start sautéing the onions and apples in a little bit of vegetable oil, then get going on the next step of the pastry.
  5. Pull the dough out of the fridge and roll it out into a long, thin rectangle (just a few rolls of the pin should do). Then, fold the dough in on itself in thirds, like you would fold a letter to fit in an envelope. Turn the new rectangle 90 degrees and repeat the process a few times, rolling into a rectangle, folding, and turning. This is what gives you millions of little tiny layers later on. I think I did it 3 or 4 times. It only takes a few minutes. Once you’re done, divide the dough into two even rounds and put back in the fridge.
  6. Once the onions and apples have softened, pull them out and set aside in a bowl. Add a little more oil and brown the pork. Add the sage, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Add the onions and apples back to the pan, along with the breadcrumbs and water, and simmer the whole mixture for 20 minutes or so.
  7. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees once the pork is simmering.
  8. When the pork is almost done, pull out your dough one last time. Roll out one round to a couple inches wider than your pie pan and drape it in, leaving some pastry hanging over the edges. Add the filling, then top with the remaining round of dough, rolled out to the same size. Crimp the edges and cut some slits in the top to let out steam. Brush the egg wash on the top of the pie.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing.

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