Sorry I've been m.i.a. My old faithful laptop died and I am in the process of converting over to a Mac.
A whole new world to learn really.
Change is hard, but good in this case. I'm learning....
Ever have a trusty old something that you hate to lose?
Making beef and cheddar hand pies is easy, easy since I used the same crust that I used for my raspberry-cheddar hand pies.
King Arthur really nailed it with this cheddar cheese crust. It's so versatile. The next use will be an apple pie or apple hand pies. And since I get asked all the time "does it freeze well?" I can finally say yes, this cheddar crust does freeze very well.
I found a small bowl makes the best outlines for cutting out circles.
The beef filling can be anything you want really. Ground cooked beef with any type of veggie and/or sauce. I'm a pepper jelly junkie--love it on everything.
beef & cheddar hand pies
cheddar crust from King Arthur
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup Hi-maize Fiber (or substitute all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup Vermont cheese powder (or substitute ¼ cup fine-grind Parmesan cheese)
3/4 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce, optional
1 1/2 cups (24 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into pats (I grated mine, kept them frozen)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup ice water
¾ - 1 pound of cooked ground beef
any veggie you want: I used chopped sweet onions
¾ - 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional
pepper jelly, but use whatever type sauce/condiment you like
Cook notes: I made this without the hi-maize fiber using flour instead, and used Parmesan instead of cheese powder. BUT I highly recommend using/finding the sharp cheese powder because I’m so sure that adds a nice flavor and the parmesan makes it a little more greasy. I separated this dough into 5 mounds and only used one mound for the fruit pies, and freezing the rest. Does it freeze well? Yes. For the square-like hand pies, I rolled my hand pies into long squares, but use any shape you want—keep in mind that the dough should be as thin as possible since it does rise a bit when baking. Always keep the dough cold when working with it and always work the dough as little as possible as we want a nice crispy crust. The more you work the crust the chewier and less tender it will be.
In terms of cutting out dough squares for perfect sized hand pies? -- I’m horrid at this, so I just cut them into long strips and filled one half and folded over the other half OR I used a bowl and cut out circles (as seen in the photos). It’s rustic, but it works for me. If you have a better way, then please go ahead.
You should get about 4 batches of dough, and each batch of dough should give you about 4-6 hand pies depending on how thick/thin you rolled the dough and how you cut out each square/circle.
To make the crust: Combine the dry ingredients. Work in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
Add the cheddar cheese and water, mixing until the dough is cohesive; add extra water, if necessary, to make it come together. It will be crumbly, that’s ok, just mold them into mounds and cover with plastic—it will come together when it sits/sets up in the fridge. If you are using dough right away chill at least 30 minutes or more. If you are not using all of them right away then freeze the rest.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove a disk of dough from the fridge. Roll it into as big a square/rectangle, as you can. Using a sharp knife, slice out little squares (whatever size you want).
Fill the middles with about 1-2 TB of cooked beef, add on your veggies if using, then top off with shredded cheese and pepper jelly if using.
Make sure not to fill the centers too full or you’ll have a hard time closing/sealing up pie edges.
Once your filling is done, take another square or circle of dough and place over the top of the filling, gently seal up the edges with a fork by pressing down or pinching if necessary. It was not necessary to wet the edges before sealing; they stuck together just fine. I brushed the whole tops with the beaten egg before baking. Making a vent hole is NOT necessary.
Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while making the other hand pies; you always want to keep the dough as cold as possible.
Bake the pies for 18 to 23 minutes, until golden.
Let cool a bit before serving as the filling is HOT.
Each disk of dough should yield about 4-6 hand pies.
They are great alone or served with a dipped sauce.