As promised, I’m interrupting our recent string of sweets-related posts to write about a delicious, easy, infinitely variable recipe that will serve you well year-round. You can make and freeze it ahead of time for a breezy dinner in the future, and, if you want, you can use leftovers from your holiday meal while making it. What is it, you ask? Curried turkey hand pies (or, for you Michiganders, pasties, which I can never type without smirking).
I got the recipe for these delectable handheld savory pies from the stash of Woman’s Day magazines that a family friend gave me. Basically, you take shredded roast turkey or chicken (I told you you could use up your holiday leftovers!), potatoes, veggies and a little curry powder, stuff it inside ready-made pie crusts, then bake. Or, you can freeze right after stuffing the pie crusts and bake them up at a later date. I admit that I’ve always kind of scoffed at packages of ready-made, refrigerated pie crust, but using them like this has opened my eyes to a whole world of possibilities. Imagine wrapping browned, crumbled breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs in these, for instance! You could also make vegetarian ones — just use a medley of your favorite veggies. Anyway, these took less than an hour from start to finish, and the boys loved them. The crust was flaky, and the stuffing was flavorful and moist. Johnny especially liked the mild curry flavor and the golden raisins. He said these reminded him a tiny bit of samosas, which we love.
Curried Turkey Hand Pies (from Woman’s Day Magazine)
Makes eight pies (enough to serve four adults)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 small russet potato, cut into 1/4-in. pieces
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups shredded roasted turkey or chicken
- 2 refrigerated rolled pie crusts (found in the section where you’d get biscuit or crescent roll tubes) – you may want to pick up an extra package, in case the amount of filling ends up being too much for two crusts, as it did in my case
- 1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn’t have any more parchment paper on hand, so I used wax. It’s a fine substitute if you’re only baking for a short period of time, as you are in this recipe). Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.
Add the potato and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the curry and cook for 1 minute; remove from heat. Add the peas, raisins and vinegar and mix to combine; fold in the turkey.
Unroll the pie crusts and cut each into 4 triangles. I used my kitchen shears.
Divide the turkey mixture among the pieces of dough, placing it on one side. Don’t use too much, or else you’ll have a tough time closing up the pie.
Fold the dough over the filling, press the edges with a fork to seal and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the surface of each hand pie with the beaten egg.
Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
I can’t wait to make these again and experiment with other ingredients and seasonings. I hope you enjoy them, too!
p.s. If you want to freeze these for future use, after assembling the pies and brushing with egg, lay them flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then freeze. Once the pies are frozen, you can put them in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to two months. When you want to serve them, simply take them from the freezer and pop them directly into a 375 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes.