Savory Spring Hand Pies

Well hello there! It’s been a while hasn’t it? I’m sorry. I promise I’ll be better. So, to make up for it I have two posts for you today. GASP!! So here it goes with post #1.

The other day, we had savory spring hand pies from My New Roots. I can’t go into too much detail because it’s from her cookbook. I’ll tell you about my version of her recipe.

She does call for spelt flour, which she uses a lot. This is an excerpt about spelt from her cookbook:

Spelt, a grain with a five-thousand-year-old history is experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to its wonderful taste, versatility, and nutritional content. Spelt does contain gluten, but gluten-sensitive people can tolerate spelt better than any other grain, as its gluten structure breaks down more easily than the gluten found in hybridized wheat (however, those with celiac disease must avoid spelt). It works just as well as standard wheat flour, and it offers higher amounts of protein and fiber and a broader spectrum of nutrients. Spelt also has special carbohydrates called mucopolysaccharides, which play an important role in stimulating the immune system.

So there you go. I think in a previous post I stated wrong about people with celiac disease being able to tolerate this flour. I can’t handle gluten or wheat, and I’ve been curious about spelt but I’m too chicken to try it.

So, for this recipe I used an all-purpose gluten-free flour. I’ve never cooked with this flour before so I had no idea how it would react to anything. This is the flour I used. The consistency of the flour reminded me of cornstarch.

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You make a dough and let it sit for a bit. Here’s my dough ball.

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While that was sitting for a while, I went to work on the filling. Part of the filling calls for caraway seeds. I’ve never worked with them before. IMG_4647

They remind me of how fennel seeds look, but there’s a VERY different scent. They have a light licorice scent that reminds me of a very light spearmint. It almost smells like chewing gum! The side of the bottle says:

Caraway Seeds have a dill and licorice like flavor that is great in rye bread, cakes, and cookies. Perfect with cabbage, carrots, spinach, beets, and turnips. Add to coleslaw and potato salad or homemade biscuits.

My trusty Flavor Thesaurus didn’t have an entry for them, but my Cook’s Wisdom did:

Caraway seed is a member of the parsley family. It has a strong, pungent taste that is closely identified with rye bread. Caraway seed is used in many other breads throughout northern and central Europe and is added to rich meat and poultry dishes and casseroles. It is almost always used whole.

Either way, I liked them. I can’t remember what rye bread tastes like, but if I can use caraway seeds again, I’ll be happy to.

I got to work on the rest of the filling and the caraway seeds made the kitchen smell lovely!

IMG_4648I let it cool and went to work on my dough. I had to divide it into six little balls.

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There was no need to flour the surface because they weren’t sticky at all. If you get the cookbook and look at the recipe, you’ll see why. I divided them up and squeezed and squeezed trying to work the dough a bit more. Working with the gluten-free flour was a bit hard. When I thought I had worked the dough enough, I tried to roll them out but it just wasn’t working.

IMG_4650You can see how it’s not holding together all that well. It’s because there’s no gluten to glue things together. There is xantham gum in this flour, before you ask. Oh well. I worked with what I had and I was determined to make it work.

However, the dough just didn’t want to cooperate. It was breaking in places and just wasn’t all that pliable. I did try to salvage it and made them work though. You can see from the following photos how the dough was.

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You put the filling in and fold it over and seal it with a fork on the edges. I left two pies as vegan for me, but I put ham in four for the Hubs and little one.

You let them bake for a while, “or until lightly golden.” Mine didn’t come out golden at all. They came out looking exactly like how I put them in…white. So, I let them sit in the oven for five extra minutes and took them out.

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I think that extra five minutes did them in because the edges were CRISPY!! When the Hubs and I ate the edges, it sounded like we were eating rocks. Naturally we didn’t give the edges to the little one. He gladly ate up the inside of the pies with some ketchup though. The pies were a bit dry. However, this won’t stop me from trying to make it again. I’ll just have to experiment with another gluten-free flour blend.

If you decide to make this recipe, it does taste good.

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