Wednesday, April 18, 2007

After Weeks, My-Oh-My I've Made Pie

I'll admit it. I can't help but fall in love with Pie-Oh-My. So I've been wanting to make something like them since they're kind of expensive. And there's nothing like homemade. (Except sometimes it turns out nasty.) So after contemplating different things like the Cherry Turnovers in the April issue of Everyday Food, Lara's Cran-Rasberry Hand Pies, Unfried Apple Pies, and some fruit turnover recipes that I can't link to (one in a pie book at Michaela's house, and another in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook) By Sunday I'd given up on finding a recipe that was exactly what I wanted. I finally got down to business last night. Starting on Sunday, I got all my ingredients after spending an hour trying to find a dough recipe to use (I ended up taking one for empanadas and playing with it, praying for something that would work, and it did.)

There's a myriad of names that would successfully name these little things, and none would be ambiguous as to what they are. So I'm having trouble debating what to call them.
Since I set out to make hand pies (I was first inspired by Alton Brown's A Pie In Every Pocket pocket pies on Good Eats, and he did refer to them in the episode as hand pies when I saw part of it months ago), which are essentially what Pie-Oh-My's are, that's what I'm going to call them.
Note: When I don't do things all at once, I lose interest or patience. One thing I don't like doing is rolling out dough. If I get into a zone, I can handle it. But I failed to do so today, so as soon as I ran out of my first filling (which I made only a little of because I wasn't sure how the dough would be) and didn't feel like making more, so I sauteed some spinach to stuff inside of some to make some appetizers for dinner. Then I just stopped. I only used about half of the dough. But the filling was good, and if the amount was more, it would have been enough. Maybe sometime when it isn't a school day I'll make a WHOLE batch of these.

Pear Hand Pies
Makes 12

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into little pieces
1/3 cup ice water
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 large egg

3 pears, cored and diced
3 tablespoons corn starch
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoons nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Egg Wash:
1 large egg yolk
1-2 tablespoons milk

To make dough:
Sift flours and salt through a sieve. Dump the bran that remains on top in with the flour (yes, I realize that sort of defeated the purpose of sifting...) Blend in the butter with fingers or a pastry blender until it resembles a coarse meal with only pea size pieces of butter remaining.

In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together water, vinegar, and egg
with a fork. Then mix into the meal with the fork until it comes together.
Gather the dough together and turn out onto a floured surface and knead once or twice with heel of hand. Form into a flat rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for an hour.

For filling: Mix ingredients for filling together in a small bowl.

To assemble:
Place racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Divide dough into twelve pieces. Roll one piece out to about 1/8" thickness while keeping others covered. Fill with 2-3 tablespoons filling. Fold over and crimp with a fork. Place on baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining. Brush with egg wash before placing in oven.

Bake for about 17 minutes, switching placement of sheets within the oven halfway through baking.

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