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Pocket Pies

Many years ago hubby and I watched Alton Brown do a show on Pocket Pies. We were intrigued and thought it would be a fun exercise and something the hubby could eat for lunches! We make them once in a while but not very often, probably cause it tends to be a bit labor intensive and hubby ususally strains his back leaning over the counter! My job is to make the dough, roll it out and his job is to do the filling, fill them, and make the cool edges! Team work! Pretty much we use alton’s basic dough recipe and throw other stuff into the pocket, don’t make squares, cause that would be even harder and we don’t own a toaster – so really shape isn’t that important!

Ingredients

Pastry:

  • 9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 ounces shortening, approximately 6 tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 to 2 teaspoons water

Directions

(original recipe called for a lot of hands on stuff – y’know like kneading and stuff, but hey, i bought a kitcheneaid with the bread hook, so i use it!) In the bowl of a kitchenaid mixer, with bread hook attachment on, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix on low for a minute or 2. Add the shortening turn on low until it is crumbly. (use a spatela to move the sides down once in a while) Add the milk all at once continue on low until it begins to come together. It will eventually turn into a ball stuck on the hook! Lightly flour your hands and the countertop and turn the dough out onto the countertop. Knead the dough ball still not too sticky. Using a rolling pin roll the dough to 1/3 to 1/2-inch thickness, then cut into rounds using a 2 1/4-inch ring. (my cool rolling pin with thickness measurements didn’t have the above measurment, so we did 1/4 inch and made smaller pies!) Roll each round as thinly as possible or to 5 to 6 inches in diameter. (Note: this dough is very very hard to deal with if too thin, so work with the thickness that works for you!) Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto the dough, brush the edges of half of the dough lightly with the egg wash, fold over and seal the edges together with the tines of a fork, dipping it into flour as needed. Gently press down to flatten and evenly distribute the filling and snip or cut 3 slits in the top of the pie (or stick a fork in the top!) . Dock pies that are going to be deep-fried, instead of snipping or cutting slits. To pan-fry pies, place a medium saute pan over medium low heat along with 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable, canola oil or butter. Once heated, place 2 to 3 pies at a time into pan and saute until golden on both sides, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side. Allow to cool 4 to 5 minutes before serving. To deep-fry pies, heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or a large heavy pot to 375 degrees F. Once hot, add 1 to 2 pies at a time and fry until golden brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. To bake pies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place finished pies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Wilker Pie Fillings:

Taco meat – ground turkey cooked, drained, taco seasoning added in, a jalapeno or 2
Pizza Dip– left over from a party – cold from the fridge – 1 pepperoni on the bottom, dip on top, 1 pepperoni on top
Eggs and Bacon – if we decide early enough we add extra eggs and bacon and make our own lean pockets!
Notes:
  • Butter crisco makes it brown a bit better but also make the dough a bit harder to deal with.
  • Let the dough sit for 30 minutes, maybe in the fridge to make it easier to deal with
  • We have not deep fried the pies – only oven, sometimes partially and then pop into the toaster oven when ready (either from the fridge or freezer!)
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