Why a manly man made dainty hand pies and why you should too

Written by Danny.

The quick and easy answer is: You want to make these to have beer.  The more complete and correct answer is below.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting up with an old friend, Zaak, for supper and a beer tasting with 8 of his future housemates from Dragonfly Cohousing. 8 people and 13 beer over 2.5-3  hours (no one was keeping time) made for an enjoyable time of meeting new friends and tasting new beers.

As it happens, the only other time I had participated in a beer tasting was about 10 years earlier with my brother and Zaak.  3 people tasting 8 high-alcohol content beers made for a bit of a disaster.  Okay, a lot of a disaster.  We were genuinely interested in tasting the beers, but didn’t want to waste any. And one of us had to leave early (me) for a reason I can’t remember.

I’m planning to host a beer tasting of my own over the holidays, and want to ensure that it is not a disaster, and that everyone makes it home safely.  Part of my secret arsenal to do so is to serve lots of food, and these will include some hand pies.

Read on to see how easy it is to make mini Tourtière hand pies, and get the recipe for these savory holiday bites.

As part of Aimee’s annual holiday batch cooking blitz, we prepared enough tourtiere filling for 8 full pies, and then some. We weren’t about to waste the extra cup of spiced pork filling we had left over, and so these appetizers were created for my upcoming beer tasting.

Thanks to frozen puff pastry, which Aimee stashes for projects like these, the hand pies come together pretty quickly. They bake up even faster, and, once served, get eaten in a blink of an eye. (We sampled some already.)

 

Tourtiere Hand Pies
4.5 from 2 reviews
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Recipe type: Appetizer
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: makes 42 hand pies
A two-bite tourtière, these bake up beautifully from frozen. Serve with a green tomato ketchup or fruit chutney. And beer.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of tourtière filling
  • 1 lb package of puff pastry (454 grams)
  • 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. On a well-floured surface, roll out your puff pastry dough to just over 21 x 18 inches. You can go a little bigger, but your final crust will be thinner.
  2. Cut your dough into 3-inch squares.
  3. Working with about 6 squares at a time, put 1 tablespoon of spice meat filling in the center of each square and “paint” about a half-inch line of beaten egg along two adjacent sides with a pastry brush.
  4. Fold the square diagonally, making sure to not get any meat on the edges. If you put too much filling in the center, you will have a hard time doing this. I know.
  5. Crimp the edges with your fingers to seal, and then press the edges with a fork to double-check the seal and to make a pretty pattern.
  6. Chill the hand pies for at least 30 minutes before baking, or freeze in a single layer on a tray.
  7. Once frozen solid, put the sealed hand pies into an airtight bag and place in the freezer for when you need them.
  8. When you’re ready to rock, brush some more beaten egg on one side and place them on a cookie sheet so that they don’t touch each other.
  9. Cook in a 375F oven for about 15 minutes, or until brown on the top.
  10. Wait for them to cool before eating, or you will have lava in your mouth. I know this too.

Eat Well, Spend Less…on appetizers.

Editor’s Note: This month our Eat Well, Spend Less team is showing you how to eat well over the holidays on a budget! If you’ve ever purchased cute little pastry hand pies -sweet or savory – as finger food for your holiday party, you’ll know that they cost a small fortune from the frozen foods section.

Thanks to Danny, I’ve got a tidy stash of meat-filled triangles in my freezer at a fraction of the cost of buying them ready-made. If you’ll excuse me now, I’m going to go hide a bag so he doesn’t feed them all to his buddies…

Be sure to check out the other ladies’ frugal holiday tips:

 

What is a favorite finger food that you like to make and serve over the holidays?

About Danny

Danny Bourque is a mechanical engineer who is known at both home and work as either “the geek” or “the numbers guy”. He is very methodical and genuinely loves to analyze almost anything that piques his interest – including food.

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Comments

  1. Yum! My mom makes this every Christmas Eve, but in whole pie form. This looks like a great idea for a party though!
    Heather’s last post: Jesus Pure & Simple

  2. Way to go, Danny! My manly man cooks all the time and makes some fabulous stuff, too. And strangely, he has a similar attitude about not wasting beer… :)
    Robin from Frugal Family Times’s last post: Recipe: Anna’s Taco Soup

  3. Great appetizer idea! One of my favorites is very similar…Beef Wellington Bites.
    Cut 3″ squares of puff pastry as instructed, then place a 1/4″ cube of seasoned beef tenderloin and top with a smidge of boursin cheese. Close, freeze and store!
    When your ready to cook, brush with egg and bake until browned and puffed…your guests will LOVE these.

  4. Sounds good to me! Yum!
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar’s last post: Artichoke Feta Garlic Bread

  5. These sound great. I love the bigger pastry to filling ratio. I’ve for some puff pastry in the freezer too. Now I know what I’m ginna do with it.
    Jessica’s last post: DIY on a Dime: Make a Playdough Kit

    • Danny Bourque says:

      HI Jessica,
      It’s actually a necessity. If they don’t close and seal, then they “blow out” when the pastry rises in the oven. If the squares and meat content were increased in size and quantity (respectively), then they’d be more like Calzones, but would likely break apart when picking up.

  6. What a great idea! I love tourtiere – although I learned to make it with potatoes instead of oats. I think it’s a regional variation.

    http://yellebellyboo.blogspot.com/2012/10/tourtiere-french-canadian-meat-pie.html
    daniliff’s last post: Lobster Mac and Cheese

  7. Will you please elaborate on “one package of puff pastry”? Is that one pound?
    I hesitate only because of my recent near-failure with the potato strudel, where I realized after putting it in the oven that I had used half the pastry called for, making for a leaky mess. (Totally my fault, the recipe there spells out the weight, and I jumped to conclusions on the package size.)
    Thanks! The pies sound delicious!

  8. I just love these. When you first posted something about it on facebook, I went to look at the tourtiere recipe, and was immediately reminded of the pork pies James gets at home in Northern England for holiday occasions. They’re giant, stocky, full of flavor like your original post. But I find that much ground meat to chew through a bit offputting, even when I like the flavor (I blame overdosing on sausage rolls during my first year in England). So Danny and you have offered up the perfect solution here. I’ll still make the filling, but I’ll turn it into hand pies!
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: Candy Cane Crinkle Cookies

    • Danny Bourque says:

      You should get James to assemble the pies. I wish I still had a beer of his in the fridge, but was told that it didn’t improve with age, so quaffed it up quick all by myself. It was great and would have been worthy of these pies.

  9. Isn’t beer always the answer, no matter what the question?
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Holiday Cool: Maple-Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

  10. I love this recipe! A really great twist on a Quebecois classic, prefect for the holidays. Thanks!
    Cheria’s last post: Hearty winter potato & cheddar cheese soup

  11. These look fantastic! Thanks for sharing, Danny!
    Amy’s last post: Coupon Insert Preview: December 9, 2012

  12. My husband is a mechanical engineer as well, and loves making appetizers and little fiddly foods- coincidence?

    I’m totally making these this year! It’s a tradition in my husband’s family to have tourtière on the 23rd (Christmas Eve Eve). They’re from Montréal (though none still live there), and somehow the Christmas Eve tourtière moved back a day :) We’re hosting this year, so I’d like to make these instead and have more of a finger-foods and cocktails evening.

  13. The little pies looks wonderful

  14. Danny – We made these last night for our neighbours (including some homesick Aussies here on a fellowship), and they were perfect for kids, moms, and dads (and their beer). We heeded your warnings too – whew. Nothing could be worse than a burnt tongue in the season of eating : ) Merci et joyeux noel!

  15. Danny, these look darn fallutin tasty! Thanks for great beer – I’ve still got to post my write up on the tasting. Maybe tomorrow…
    I’ve got another tasting in February. These snacks will likely be enjoyed then.

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