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Hot Pastry Pies (Pate Chaud)

These French-inspired savory hot pastry pies are filled with ground meat and vegetables and then baked to a beautiful golden brown color.  The typical recipe uses ground pork with a puff pastry dough.  My version is a lighter and healthier option.  Any ground meat works well in this recipe but I especially like lean ground turkey or chicken.  I also like a generous amount of vegetables in my filling and use onions, celery (which adds a really nice crunch) and the traditional wood ear mushrooms.  I swap out the puff pastry for refrigerated biscuit dough.  Why? The puff pastry, although delicious, is actually quite heavy with the ingredients listing “hydrogenated vegetable shortening as the third ingredient (pretty fattening!).  I like using biscuit dough because it’s a lot lighter in terms of calories and fat content.  I also find refrigerated biscuit dough to be perfectly portioned, much easier to work and much less expensive than the puff pastry.

These pastry pies make a wonderful quick appetizer or snack.  The best way to reheat the pies is in a toaster oven for 5 minutes.  If you’re short on time, pop them in the microwave for 45 seconds.

Watch the video below for instructions.

Ingredients

2 cans refrigerated biscuit dough (Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layer, 8 biscuits per can)
1 1/3 lb ground meat of your choice (I use lean turkey)
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup rehydrated wood ear mushrooms (also called black fungus), finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp water

Directions

Soak wood ear mushrooms in a bowl of tap water for 10 minutes.  Drain well and then finely chop.

Finely dice celery and onions.  In a large bowl combine ground meat, onions, celery and mushrooms, salt and pepper and mix well.

To make the egg wash, separate the egg and put the yolk into a small bowl.  Add the water to the yolk and mix together.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle a thin layer of flour on your work surface.  Remove the biscuits from the can.  (Leave the other can in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.)  Take a biscuit and roll it flat using a small rolling pin.  Roll the dough in an oval shape approximately 6 inches long by 4 inches wide.  Scoop out approximately 2 tablespoons of filling and drop about 1/2 inch from the bottom edge of the dough.  Form the meat into a log using your fingers.  Gently lift the top edge of the dough and fold it over lining up the edges.  Press the edges together gently using your finger.  Use the fork to seal along the edge of the pastry pie.  Continue until all pies are made.  Place pies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Brush each pie with the egg wash.  Prick holes on top of pastry with a fork.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  About halfway through the baking process, rotate the baking sheets so the pies brown evenly.

Remove from oven and place on cooling racks.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Yields: 16 pies

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