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Moroccan Hand Pies with Eggplant and Apricots

Get a handle on dinner with these portable pies. Dried apricots and harissa, a North African chile sauce, lend sweetness and heat to the meaty filling of these buttery, flaky hand pies. Harissa brands vary in intensity, so taste yours first. If it seems fiery, start with a little, and cook a portion of the meat to test it.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
Moroccan Hand Pies with Eggplant and Apricots

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2011

Ingredients

  • For the filling:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 recipe Ground-Meat Mix (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 3 tablespoons harissa (igourmet.com)
  • For the crust:
  • 1 disk Pate Brisee
  • All-purpose flour, for surface
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash

Directions

  1. Make the filling: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly golden, about 8 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Mix together eggplant, meat, apricots, and harissa until just combined. Divide into 8 portions (about 1/2 cup each). Form each into a plump half-moon shape.

  3. Make the crust: Roll out pate brisee to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out eight 6-inch circles, rerolling scraps if needed. Refrigerate on a baking sheet until slightly firm, about 20 minutes.

  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly brush edges of 1 dough circle with egg wash. Top with 1 portion of meat. Fold dough to encase filling, forming a half-moon. Carefully press around edges to seal. Pleat edges using your fingers, or press with a fork. Make a vent in the top using a skewer or a knife. Repeat with remaining dough and meat, transferring pies to parchment-lined baking sheets (4 to 6 per sheet). Refrigerate until dough is very firm, about 1 hour, or freeze for 30 minutes.

  5. Brush tops with egg wash. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden and filling is cooked through, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Cook's Note

Uncooked hand pies can be frozen, wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 month. Proceed with step 5 (no extra baking time needed).

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