Monday, September 20, 2010

Tomato Hand Pies in Bacon and Thyme Crust

Tomato Hand Pies in Bacon and Thyme Crust

Something happened this weekend that hasn't happened in a long time...I cooked. This wasn't just regular cooking for the work week (aka salad) or cooking because I had a potluck or Hollywood Bowl outing. I was cooking because I was inspired...and it felt good. It all started last week when I realized I hadn't baked since my birthday cake. As someone who used to bake every week, you could see how two months with no baking would be a big deal. I wanted to put my oven to good use. Unfortunately, my oven is a little mad at me from lack of use so it's extremely temperamental and doesn't always work. Fortunately, I figured out a way to trick it back into liking me.  I also finally got around to seasoning my cast iron pan that I bought back in February. Now that it's ready to be used, I'm looking for cast iron cooking ideas so feel free to leave them in the comments. Now, for these hand pies. I was watching an old episode of Simply Ming which featured ponzu and bacon as the main ingredients. Art Smith was guesting on the show and made a tomato pie with a crust that had bacon baked right into it. I was intrigued, but couldn't find a recipe so I decided to come up with something that worked for me. These little pies aren't the prettiest food, but who cares since they taste so great!? I definitely want to play around with these a bit more while tomatoes are in season, but for a first try they were pretty amazing.

Tomato Hand Pies in Bacon and Thyme Crust
(By Esi)

Makes 16 hand pies or one large galette

For the Crust:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2-4 tablespoons ice water
2 slices cold bacon, sliced in half lengthwise and chopped into small pieces

Add the flour, thyme and salt to a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the motor running, add the ice water just until the crust comes together. Roll out the dough to about a 6 inch circle. Add some of the bacon. Roll out until the bacon is incorporated in the crust. Repeat until all of the bacon is mixed in with the crust.

Form the dough into a disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

For the filling:
1 shallot minced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1-2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered and drained as much as possible
2-3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until almost translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about another minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the tomatoes and cheese.

Roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut the dough into rounds. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the filling over each round. Close the rounds and seal the edges with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix one egg with about 1 tablespoon of water. Seal the edges of each pie with a fork. Poke each pie with the fork to allow the steam to escape while cooking and brush the tops with the egg wash.  Bake 20-25 minutes until the tops of the pie have browned. Allow the pies to cool slightly before serving.

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Erica said...

these are gorgeous. Glad you got back to baking. Baking is the way I relieve stress (so if you see a ton of baking on my blog at any one you know why ;)). I have never tried a tomato pie but it sounds really tasty. I'm sure you could make on jammin skillet cornbread recipe

Maria said...

The hand pies are adorable!

Sandy Smith said...

These look fantastic ~ I love the savory crust. Mmmmm.

Yuni said...

OH WOW... Looks so yum :))

Brooke said...

My cast iron skillet might be my favorite kitchen item. I can't wait for you to start using it! You can do everything in it. I mean EVERYTHING!

La Bella Cooks said...

Glad to see you back to baking and coming up with something so creative. I've never tried a tomato hand pie but these sound amazing with that crust.

vanillasugarblog said...

mmmm esi hand pies and there's bacon!! yum. love these girl.

Joanne said...

Yay! I'm so glad you're back in the kitchen. And this is the perfect example of why. I mean, a bacon and thyme crust?!?!? Where has this been all my life! Oh right, in your head. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

That looks great.

Kate @ Savour Fare said...

OMG Esi, these have me DROOLING> Tomato Hand pies = genius.

Diana said...

Oh my gosh, I can't believe you haven't baked since your birthday! This means I've been baking more than you... craziness! That would be like you making more quinoa than me!

Banana Wonder said...

Welcome back to the baking world! I bake at least once a week, now that you've brought it to my attention. I love the thyme added into the crust. These pies look so tasty and I can see a lot of opportunity for experimentations here!

Kasey said...

You always know how to inspire with a recipe! These little babies look amazing--can't wait to whip them up in my kitchen!

shaz said...

Oh yum Esi, you had me at bacon! Glad to hear you're baking again :) These look fabulous.

Elle said...

Oh, Dawn (Vanilla Kitchen) was right--these are like little crack pies! I could have a few, or more, for sure!

Don't have any specific cast iron ideas, but I recently got a 12" skillet, and I adore cooking everything in it! Enjoy.

M. said...

this is very creative... I love the idea of mini pies and thyme crust...yum!

Unknown said...

yumm, how fabulous!! what a way to get back in the kitchen :)

The Duo Dishes said...

Bacon in the crust? Yes yes yes. Welcome back to cooking.

Kerstin said...

Wow, these are so pretty and the filling sounds delightful. Glad you're enjoying baking again :)

Joyti said...

It sounds delicious, and looks ever-so-nice.

Jenn said...'ve done better than I have. Things have picked up quite a bit with work that cooking has nearly taken a backseat. How I wish to cook again. I'd take a homemade had pie over premade packaged meal any day. :)

Kana said...

Bacon and tomato - you are killing me!!!!

Monika said...

Yet another inventive way to get more bacon into my diet! Thanks for the inspiration.

marla {Family Fresh Cooking} said...

Your tomato hand pies look amazing. Wish you lived a tiny bit closer so I could ring your doorbell & grab some!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Portable bacon and tomato! What could be better? Glad you've got your mojo back.

Unknown said...

Nothing like a good savory pie. I'm glad to know I'm not the only (occasionally) dormant cook :)

L. P. Skeen said...

Ok, cast iron skillet recipe for cornbread.

2 cups self rising corn meal*
3 tablespoons bacon grease

Optional, but not purist:

leftover sweet corn
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2T chopped onion

Preheat oven to 350*. Put the bacon grease in the skillet and place in the oven while it heats up.

Put the cornmeal in a mixing bowl and add just enough buttermilk to make a pourable batter (think a smidge thicker than pancakes) plus any "adds".

When the oven reaches temperature, the grease will have melted and be sizzling hot. Pull the pan from the oven and place on stovetop. Pour in the cornmeal batter. Replace pan in the oven and bake until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and turn out onto a plate. Slice into wedges and slather with butter. YUMMMMMMMMMmmmmm!

L. P. Skeen said...

oh yeah, two more things: (1.) DO NOT substitute vegetable shortening for the bacon in the cornbread recipe. If you do, it won't be fit to eat.
(2.) I put a * beside the corn meal measurement. That's because that's how much it takes to fill up MY skillet - your mileage will vary depending on size of your skillet. ;0)

Jamie said...

Wow this is one great recipe! And your little hand pies are adorable and that luscious filling oozing out makes them mouthwateringly tempting.