One of the great American holiday institutions is the after-Thanksgiving sandwich. Inspired by the idea of re-creating those delicious flavors into a pie bite, I played with different parts of the classic menu as filling ingredients. Sweet potatoes were mushy, and mushrooms were rubbery. But I found that cranberries added an acidic bite that was needed and pepitas gave needed crunch. During (and after) the holiday season, these poppers are a flavor-filled pass-around.
- 2 slices (2 ounces, 56 g) thick-cut smoked bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion (white and green parts)
- 1/2 pound (225 g) ground turkey, light and dark meat
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (70 g) frozen peas
- 1/4 cup (57 g) toasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 cup (57 g) cranberry sauce
- 1/4 cup (56 g) mayonnaise or full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 recipes All-Butter Pie Dough (recipe below) formed into 3- by 4-inch rectangular blocks
- Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cool water and 1/4 teaspoon= kosher salt)
- Sweet ’n’ Hot Mustard Sauce (recipe follows), for serving (optional)
In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl. Add the scallions to the fat in the pan and cook until the edges have turned deep brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the turkey, breaking it up with two wooden spoons until crumbly and no longer pink. Add the thyme, sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until well combined and smelling like Thanksgiving, 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape the turkey mixture into the bowl with the bacon and fold gently until thoroughly mixed. Cool completely. Stir in the peas, pepitas, cranberry sauce, and mayonnaise.
Place a Baking Steel, baking stone, or inverted baking sheet on the center rack and heat the oven to 375˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Remove one block of dough from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough to an approximate 9- by 13-inch rectangle, cut out 24 (2-inch) rounds, and vent half of them. Brush the edge of one round with egg wash. Add a scant, packed 1 tablespoon filling and form a popper with a second (vented) round. Transfer to a baking sheet and firmly fork-crimp the edges.
Continue to make 12 poppers. Brush the surface of each with egg wash. Refrigerate or freeze while repeating the process with the other block of pie dough to make a total of 24 poppers.
Bake the poppers for 20 to 25 minutes, until deeply golden brown. I prefer to bake them one baking sheet at a time to take advantage of the Baking Steel in my oven, but if you want to bake them at the same time, switch them top to bottom and front to back halfway through the bake. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the mustard sauce, if you like.
Sweet ’n’ Hot Mustard Sauce
Makes 1 cup
If you’ve ever had a ham biscuit, this hot and sweet mustard sauce is often served alongside. It’s perfect with ham, but also with turkey, thick and tangy and full of zesty flavor.
- ⅓ cup (65 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Coleman’s mustard powder
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine vinegar
In a small bowl, blend the sugar, flour, and mustard powder. In a small saucepan, whisk the milk and egg yolk until combined. Place over medium heat and slowly add the flour mixture and the vinegar. Without stopping whisking, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, until thickened. The sauce may be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for a week.
ALL-BUTTER PIE DOUGH
Makes 1 recipe pie dough
Be a fearless pie baker with this dependably delicious, absolutely consistent pie dough. It is my hands-down favorite crust. It is easy to handle, freezes beautifully, and crimps like a dream. This crust fits the bill whether baking up a sweet or savory galette, hand pie, or popper.
- 1⅓ cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, cubed and frozen for 20 minutes
- Scant pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) ice water
Place the work bowl of the food processor on the scale, set the scale to zero, and weigh the flour into the bowl. Weigh in the butter and add the salt. Move the bowl to the food processor base, insert the metal blade, cover, and use the Pulse function to cut the flour and butter into flour-covered pea-sized pieces, about 15 quick pulses. Add the ice water all at once and process until the dough almost comes together in a ball. All the flour will be dampened and the dough will clump.
Spend time on this next step because the more compact and precise the dough, the easier it is to roll to the correct size and thickness. Form an X with two long pieces of overlapping plastic wrap and lightly flour the surface. Dump the dough onto the center of the plastic wrap, scraping the processor bowl clean. Wrap the sloppy gathering of dough in the plastic and, at the same time, use a bench scraper (not your warm hands that might melt the butter clumps) to form the dough into a 4-inch disk or a 3.- by 3.-inch block. Once wrapped, use a rolling pin to gently press across the surface of the dough, then flip it over and do the same on the other side. Now let it rest: Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Alternatively, slip the plastic-wrapped dough block into a ziptop bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost gently, overnight in the refrigerator.
Following up on PIE SQUARED's slab pies, food writer Cathy Barrow finds more ways to use pastry dough deliciously with crowd-pleasing (and easy to make) galettes and small tarts, as well as empanadas, strudels, and knishes. Barrow digs into a world of doughs for turnovers, fried pies, poppers, and Texas-by-way-of-Krakow kolaches, all offered in sweet and savory iterations.
WHEN PIES FLY guides the rolling pin novice and the experienced dough wrangler to dozens of shapes and styles of crusty, flaky, delicious treats. Barrow's well-tested, foolproof crust recipes means pie-making is fun, not scary, and her step-by-step techniques makes turning out a free-form pie practically foolproof.
WHEN PIES FLY includes many types of pastries (both homemade and store-bought), ready for the lunchbox, the dinner table, road trips, and picnics. These handy crusty offerings go from freezer to oven, and will win over everyone at the table. No one will be able to resist Sesame Chicken Hand Pies, Savory Nectarine Marscapone Tarts, Pork Pastor Empanadas, Spiced Apple Strudels, and much more. The perfect mix of nostalgic favorites and new pastry creations, WHEN PIES FLY is a wonderful dive into the world of pies in all of their forms.