Spinach and Cheese Hand Pies

cheese-pies

I’ve been frustrated lately with the recipes I’ve been trying. Like just about everyone I know, I look at lots of recipes online and neglect my cookbooks. There are great things about finding recipes online, but for me the biggest appeal is that I can find recipes from wherever I am as long as I have a phone, computer or my tablet. This is super convenient, but it’s just not the same as using a cookbook. There are undoubtedly many, many wonderful recipes on the internet, but there are also many not so great ones. When someone writes a cookbook, it requires more effort (I’m definitely not saying that all cookbook recipes are good). I just think that the likelihood of a recipe turning out well is greater if you use a cookbook versus some random recipe you found on the internet.

cheese-pie-dough

So with this in mind, I’ve been trying to start cooking from my cookbooks again. One recipe that I recently made was Tessa Kiros’s Cheese Pies from her book Apples for Jam. They were so good, and perfect for taking on a picnic or on a car camping trip. They hold together really nicely, which is something I haven’t had any luck with when I’ve made other hand pie recipes. I think this recipe is super adaptable as well- I could see a potato based filling, or even other types of cheese fillings working really well.

cheese-pies-pre-baked

Recipe adapted from Tessa Kiros’s Cheese Pies from her book Apples for Jam.

cheese-pie

cheese-pies

Spinach & Cheese Hand Pies

Yield

About 20 pies

Prep Time / Cook Time

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Activity Guide

Picnic

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 sticks butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • a few tablespoons ice water (you may or may not need this)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 ounces spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar
  • a big pinch of freshly ground pepper

Tools

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large bowl
  • Skillet
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Food Processor or Pastry Blender
  • Baking sheets
  • Pastry brush
  • 3 or 4 inch biscuit cutter or a drinking glass

Method

  1. Combine the flour, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Add one of the eggs, 3 tablespoons of the milk, and vinegar and pulse until the dough becomes a ball. If the dough doesn’t come together, add ice water a tablespoon at a time until you have a ball. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can make the dough in a bowl. Just use a pastry blender to incorporate the butter into the flour and then stir in the remaining ingredients.) Flatten the ball of dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the spinach. Briefly saute the spinach just until it wilts. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cheeses, one egg, pepper and sauteed spinach.
  4. Combine the remaining egg and milk in a small bowl and beat to combine.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it on a well-floured surface until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out about 20 circles with a biscuit cutter or drinking glass. You’ll have to cut circles and then re-roll the scraps in order to use all the dough. Brush the edges of half of each circle with a little of the glaze mixture. Fill each circle with about a heaping teaspoon of filling mixture (you should use all the filling). Fold the dough over to form half circles, and stretch it enough so that you can close the circles securely. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the dough closed as pictured above.
  6. Place the pies on a baking sheet and brush lightly with the remaining glaze. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is heated through. Cool before eating.

10 thoughts on “Spinach and Cheese Hand Pies

  1. These are really delicious and not hard to make! I had some filling left over so I’m making more dough. What size biscuit cutter do you recommend?

  2. These were easy to make and quite tasty. My only recommendation is stating the size of the dough circles to make. I used a standard water glass size and the circles were way to small with the filling squirting out the sides making a big mess. I think a 4″ diameter circle at least would work best.

  3. These were great! I agree that the diameter of the circle size was too small for me to manipulate (I used a 3″ diameter glass); however, they didn’t make a mess or anything. A recommendation I have is perhaps adding some chopped bacon as we thought it needed something adding a little “salty” to it. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Jenna. Bacon does make everything better, so I’m sure that’ll work. Sounds like we need to test these out again, your way!

  4. I would prefer if you took out the car camping from the information. It’s a great recipe, but for people actually camping it is not helpful as they don’t have an oven. The picnic part is great and makes sense and people generally prepare a picnic at home.

    1. That’s a great point. This would be a good pie iron recipe, and it could also be made in a dutch oven, so it could be made for car camping. However the recipe isn’t written that way, so I think you’re right.

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