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Gruyere, Thyme, and Caramelized Onion Pocket Pies

Serves: Yields approximately 16 mini-pocket pies or 5 double-crust individual pies

Ingredients:

These savory morsels are great for an upscale cocktail party or outdoor gathering. For a gourmet touch, sprinkle these mini delights with a touch of truffle salt for a crunchy surprise and burst of flavor.

  • Pie Filling
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for serving
    • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
    • 3 ounces Gruyere cheese, finely grated
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 large egg, for egg wash
    • 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
    • Truffle salt, for garnish (optional)

  • Flaky Pie Dough (recipe follows)
    • 1-¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
    • ½ to ⅓ cup ice water


    Procedures:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place a rack in the upper and lower thirds.

    To make onion filling, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add butter and olive oil and heat until butter foams. When foaming subsides, add onions and toss to coat. Add thyme sprigs and reduce heat to low. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes, adding balsamic vinegar about halfway through the cooking time. Remove the skillet from the heat and discard thyme sprigs. Stir in grated cheese and stir well to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Allow filling to cool completely.

    To assemble pocket pies, remove pie dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling. Generously flour a work surface and place chilled dough disk on the flour. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll chilled dough into a circle, turning and flipping the dough as needed with a bench scraper to prevent sticking, until the circle measures 16 inches wide and less than 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut 16 circles of dough, rerolling once as needed. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and water for egg wash.

    Place 2 teaspoons of onion filling in the center of each dough circle. Using a fingertip or small brush, coat the dough edge halfway around with egg wash. Fold uncoated dough edge over to create a half-circle shape and press to seal and remove any air bubbles. Place assembled pocket pies on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Continue with remaining dough circles and freeze assembled pies for 30 minutes before baking. Save remaining egg wash.

    Remove pocket pies from freezer and cut a small “x” in the top of each with a sharp paring knife. Brush tops of pies with egg wash to coat and sprinkle with truffle salt, if using. Place pans in preheated oven and bake until pocket pies are golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove pans from oven and allow pies to cool for 5 minutes. Using a large spatula, transfer pies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve warm or room temperature.

    Flaky Pie Dough
    • Yield: 1, 9- to 10-inch crust

    To make the dough, place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture. Stir and fluff the flour mixture with a fork until shaggy clumps form. Pick up the large clumps and squeeze to test for moisture. If clumps hold together, transfer them to a work surface and continue adding tablespoons of ice water and stirring.

    Gather the clumps of dough together on a work surface. If the butter feels soft, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before proceeding. If the butter still feels cold, knead the dough gently 4 or 5 times. If dough falls apart, return it to the mixing bowl and sprinkle teaspoons of ice water and mix with a fork until dough holds together when squeezed.

    Flatten the dough into a disk about 6 inches wide, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

    Tested and perfected in the Sur La Table kitchen

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