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Pickled Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese Hand Pies


Hand Pie Dough

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1⅔ cups butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1 cup chilled buttermilk

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Pickled Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese Filling

For the pickled green tomatoes:

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1½ teaspoons allspice berries

½ teaspoon caraway seed

2 teaspoons crushed Aleppo pepper

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1½ teaspoons mustard seed

1 quart apple cider vinegar

1 quart water

2 cups sugar

2 large green tomatoes, diced

1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons salt

For the pimento cheese:

2 red bell peppers, roasted, cleaned, seeded, and diced

1 cup extra-sharp white cheddar, shredded

1 cup colby cheese, shredded

½ cup cream cheese, softened

½ cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

2 cups Duke’s mayonnaise

½ tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1½ tablespoons chervil, chopped

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1½ tablespoons Crystal hot sauce

2 tablespoons green tomato pickling liquid

Assembling Hand Pies

3 eggs

Canola oil or lard, as needed


Hand Pie Dough

  1. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and butter together well. 
  2. Transfer mixture to food processor, and pulse 3 to 4 times at about 4 seconds per pulse, until mixture is texture of coarse meal.
  3. Return mixture to bowl, add buttermilk and vinegar, and work liquids into crumbly mixture with hands. As dough begins to form, fold it over itself. This process will create layers, ensuring a flaky crust. 
  4. Once dough has come together, transfer to floured surface and divide in half. Wrap each half tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Hand Pie Filling

  1. Make the pickled green tomatoes: Bundle peppercorns, allspice, caraway, Aleppo, garlic, and mustard seed in cheesecloth. Tie cheesecloth into sachet. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and sachet. Bring to boil and boil 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss tomatoes and onion with salt. Once pickling liquid has boiled for 6 minutes, remove from heat and pour over tomatoes and onions. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
  3. After pickles have cooled, make the pimento cheese: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Remove pickled green tomatoes and onions from pickling liquid and mix into pimento cheese.

Hand Pies

  1. On lightly floured surface, roll out pie dough to ¼-inch thick. Working quickly, use a 4½-inch ring mold to cut out circles. Discard leftover dough and refrigerate circles for 10 minutes.
  2. Beat eggs to make an egg wash and set aside. Working in batches, remove 3 to 4 circles at a time from refrigerator. Brush edges of dough lightly with egg wash. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling in center and fold dough over to form a semi-circle. Press down on edges firmly, crimping with a fork. Transfer finished hand pies to refrigerator while working on remaining dough. 
  3. Fry hand pies in a cast-iron skillet filled with 3 inches canola oil or lard at 350 degrees until golden brown. You can alternatively bake on cookie sheet in a 350-degree oven for 14 minutes. If you choose to bake the pies, brush tops with more egg wash.
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