Monday, July 6, 2015

Sauerkraut Spelt Hand Pies

It came as a big surprise that my first attempt at hand pies would be a savory version. I always think of sweet first.

These are a German twist on hand pies using a sauerkraut, apple, ham and potato filling. The filling ingredients are flexible according to your taste. For a vegetarian version, the ham can be left behind. 

Spelt is a popular flour found in many different baked goods in Germany, It is also readily available in any supermarket at a reasonable price.  If you cannot find spelt flour or it is cost prohibitive, whole wheat flour can be substituted for the spelt variety. 

Sauerkraut Spelt Hand Pies

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Bake Time: 15 minutes 
Yield: 8-10 hand pies


For the pie dough:
  • 2 cups whole wheat spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water
For the filling:
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 ounces of thick cut ham or speck, cut into very small cubes
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3/4 cup sauerkraut
  • 1/2 sweet apple peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 medium sized cooked potato, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

Make the dough:
  • In the bowl of your mixer whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. 
  • Place the bowl in place on the mixer, turn it on to medium speed and add butter, one piece at a time, until the mixture is crumbly. 
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then add the canola oil and water. 
  • Add to the flour/butter mixture and beat until combined. 
  • Wrap the dough in plastic cling film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Alternately, put it in the freezer for 1 hour. 

Make the filling:
  • Heat the canola oil and butter in a small frying pan over medium heat and add the cubed ham or speck. Stir the ham around until it browns slightly. 
  • Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until they become transparent. 
  • Add the sauerkraut and the grated apple. Stir to combine. 
  • Mix in the grated potato. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the mixture from heat and let cool completely. 

Assemble the hand pies:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Remove the spelt dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a large rectangle on a floured work surface. 
  • Cut the dough into a series of rectangles. 
  • Place 3-4 tablespoons of the cooled sauerkraut mixture in the center of each spelt dough rectangle. Fold each end over, tucking both edges under. The filling should be peeping though an opening that is about 1 inch wide. 
  • Press the ends and sides together. 
  • Use a fork or a small knife to create decorative ridges along both sides. 
  • Place the hand pies on the baking sheet, sprinkle with spelt flour. 

  • Bake for 15 minutes or until they turn a golden brown. 
  • Remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes before serving. 

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