Here is another holiday recipe full of glorious warming spices! Tourtière, a spiced meat pie originating out of Quebec is traditionally served during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Here we are, with Christmas in a couple of days and if you’re anything like me, you might still be scrambling to plan what to eat, or on your 36th menu revision. As a hand-pie, they’re perfect for cocktail parties, potlucks, Christmas tree trimming, gingerbread house making…and the many other “snacky” festivities that happen over the holidays.
This is the easiest time I’ve ever had with a pie crust, and I think I just might make all of my pie crusts in the standing mixer from now on. The crust recipe is revised from Diary of a Mad Haus Frau’s (how about that blog name?!) Spelt and Saurkraut Hand Pies. The spelt flour makes for good flavour and a nice looking, deep coloured crust. The applewood smoked cheddar goes wonderfully with the spiced meat. Chopped up apple in the meat mixture adds some nice flavour and texture. So now maybe I’m seriously digressing from what Tourtière traditionally is with these additions, but it also seems that there is not one standard recipe for the pies. To me, these still taste very much like Tourtière and merry times, so let’s stick with the name.
I personally found it was easiest to cut the individual circles before chilling the dough as it was much easier to roll out. Also, the dough stayed chilled better as I was forming the pies, making it easier to work with. It didn’t take long to cut out some small pieces of parchment paper to layer the rounds before chilling, as pictured above.Print
These will be so good for any merry festivity during Christmas and New Year’s. The crust recipe is adapted from Diary of a Mad Haus Frau’s Saurkraut Spelt Pies.
For the Pie Crust:
2 cups whole wheat spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs, divided
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups grated smoked cheddar cheese
For the Filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
1 1/2 lbs ground pork
3 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup broth (find my Savoury Beef Bone Broth recipe here)
1 cup chopped apple
Salt and pepper to taste
Making the Dough:
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl for your standing mixer.
Slowly add butter one piece at a time, with the mixer at medium speed, mixing until the mixture is crumbly.
In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg and water together. Add this, as well as the grated cheddar to flour/butter mixture, and mix until combined.
Roll out the dough and cut about 20 circles with a round pastry cutter or glass rim. I used a glass rim with a diameter of 3.5 inches, then quickly rolled each circle after being chilled, to a diameter of 4.5 inches. By this method, you should leave the dough a little thick when cutting the circles (about 1/3-1/2 cm), as they’ll be thinner after you roll them a second time.
Layer the circles on wax or parchment paper, then cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.
*Alternatively, you can refrigerate one large ball of dough, then roll it out and cut circles once chilled, but I found the dough much easier to work with by the above method.
Making the Filling:
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and sauté until soft. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer until liquid is cooked down (about 30 minutes), stirring often. Add chopped apple.
Chill the filling completely (about 2-3 hours, minimum). If you don’t chill the filling, the pie dough will be very difficult to work with as you’re forming the pies.
Forming the Pies:
Preaheat oven to 350°F.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of filling to the centre of each circle. Pinch the edges together, then fold the bottom over the top edge with the side of your thumb, bit by bit, working from one end to the other. Use a fork to poke holes through the top of each pie. Place each pie on a baking sheet, spaced apart by at least 1 inch.
Beat remaining egg, and brush the tops of each pie.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
These will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months, by first freezing them on a baking sheet, then adding to a freezer bag or airtight container. To bake from frozen, you’ll just need to add a couple extra minutes in the oven.
Keywords: tourtiere, pies, christmas, new year’s, new years, holiday cooking, meat pie, beef, ground beef, apple, cheddar, smoked cheddar, dinner, supper