Total Time 1 hour
Makes 8 Meal-Sized Hand Pies
Fillings should be chilled when they are stuffed into the pastry, so Piper Davis usually makes them the night before she bakes and serves the pies. It always seems like there are too many greens, but they cook down considerably, she says. The water content of the greens will determine how much you end up with, so rather than measuring them, divide them into 8 equal piles before assembling.
Greens and Onions
2 medium yellow onions
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
¼ cup water, cooking sherry or white wine
1 pound hearty greens, washed, dried, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
3 lb rough puff pastry (or 1 sheet of Grand Central U-bake puff pastry), chilled
1 egg, separated
1 tbsp water
Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the fillings. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, then onions, and sprinkle with salt. Saute until onions begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to saute, resisting the urge to stir and instead giving the whole pan a quick shake every 5 minutes or so. When the onions are golden brown and the natural sugars are caramelizing on the bottom of the pan, add the water, cooking sherry, or white wine and stir to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Reduce liquid until the onions are dark, toasty brown.
When onions have achieved a rich brown color, add greens and cover with a lid. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally with tongs, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and refrigerate overnight, or until chilled through.
Prepare the pies. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper, and set aside.
Roll dough into a 12-by-20-inch rectangle on a lightly floured board. Using a large, sharp knife or a pizza cutter, trim the edges of the dough so they’re square. Cut the dough rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut each strip into four equal pieces, so you have a total of eight dough rectangles that are about the same size.
Whisk the egg white, water, and salt together in a small bowl, reserving the yolk, and use a pastry brush to lightly paint the egg white mixture around the edges of each rectangle. Place one-eighth of the filling in the center of the bottom half of each rectangle. Season with pepper.
Fold the top half of each rectangle over the filling, so that the edges meet. Seal each rectangle using the sides of your hands, then use the floured tines of a fork to crimp and reinforce the seal. Trim the edges with a sharp knife, then slice steam vents in the top of each hand pie. Whisk the egg yolk into the egg white mixture, brush the pies with the egg, then bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until pies are deep golden brown.
Note: Pies should be cold when they go into the oven. You may want to refrigerate softening dough during folding, before sealing, and/or before brushing with egg.