Caramelized Onion, Mushroom & Gruyère Hand Pies
Don’t these hand pies look like they should be on the cover of a magazine? If we were editor in chief, we’d give them a full centerfold, too. They’re just so adorable! But, as Paul Hollywood would say, these pretty, petite pies have style and substance.
The crust has everything we love about puff pastry — a super light, flaky texture and oodles of buttery goodness — plus the wonderful tang of cream cheese. Admittedly, the cream cheese makes the dough a teensy bit fussy because it tends to warm up faster than a traditional pie dough.
A tip from the test kitchen: If the dough becomes tricky to work with, just pop it in the fridge for about 10 minutes to let things chill out. It’ll make handling the dough easy-peasy. And trust that the extra time and care is worth it; this crust turns out unbelievably scrumptious!
For the filling, we wanted to create something with the savory deliciousness of meat — without the actual meat. The result: A perfectly balanced blend of lush caramelized onion, umami-laden oyster and cremini mushrooms, nutty Gruyère, aromatic white wine, earthy thyme, and lots of rich, rich butter. It all comes together with a few pulses of the food processor.
Take a bite, and you’ll notice that the ratio of hearty filling to thin, gorgeous pastry is perfect — and that you can taste each and every ingredient in the filling. There’s a complexity of flavor and texture here that makes one little hand pie a very, very satisfying repast.
The beautiful thing about these savory hand pies is that you can pop them in the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy them. Impromptu appetizers? We think yes! We also think: weeknight dinner with a single hand pie, a little green salad, and a glass of very crisp white wine — or better yet, sparkling wine. Talk about a recipe for happiness.
Caramelized Onion, Mushroom & Gruyère Hand Pies
To make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt.
Add the cream cheese and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms pea-size pieces.
Pour in the apple cider vinegar and water, and pulse until the mixture begins to clump together.
Turn the dough out onto a flat surface and form it into a disk, smoothing out the edges to remove any cracks. Wrap the disk with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
To make the filling: In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and toss to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well caramelized, 35 to 45 minutes.
Transfer the onions to a food processor and wipe out the pan.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and heat over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and allow it to melt. Add the garlic, thyme leaves, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, tossing to coat. Cook, stirring, until the butter browns and the aromatics are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the white wine to deglaze the pan, and cook until the wine evaporates, about 1 minute.
Transfer the mushrooms and aromatics to the food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are broken into pea-size pieces.
Add the grated Gruyère. Pulse to combine, and season with salt and black pepper.
To make the hand pies: Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an ⅛”-thick rectangle. Cut out circles using a 4” cookie cutter. Alternatively, you can cut 4” squares using a knife. After cutting out as many circles as you can, ball up the remaining dough and roll it out again. Keep cutting out circles until you have 36 total.
Dollop 2 tablespoons of the mushroom filling in the center of half the circles. Brush the outer edges with water and cover the filling with remaining circles.
Working from the center to the edges, gently press the dough down over the filling, squeeze out any air, and pinch the dough circles together. Cut a vent in the top of the hand pies. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough.
Transfer the hand pies to the baking sheet to chill in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
Brush the hand pies with the egg wash.
Bake the hand pies for 20 to 25 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Garnish with chives and serve warm.
Note: If you don’t want to bake all the hand pies, transfer some to a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. When you’re ready to bake, place the frozen hand pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and continue with steps 18 to 19.