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Orange-Chocolate Filled Pocket Pies

Serves: Yields approximately 24 mini-pocket pies or 8 double-crust individual pies

Ingredients:

Pie Filling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons (1-½ ounces) sugar
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1-½ ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (up to 70 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Easy Cream Cheese Pie Dough
  • 2 large eggs, for egg wash
  • 2 tablespoons water, for egg wash
  • Demerra sugar, for garnish


Procedures:

Here’s an elegant pocket pie that takes full advantage of the richly flavored, high-quality chocolates that are readily available today. The filling is a dense, almost truffle-like mousse that perfectly complements the tender cream cheese pocket pie shell. If you prefer, replace the Grand Marnier with ½ teaspoon of pure orange oil.

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

To prepare the filling, bring 2 inches of water to a low boil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Place 2 eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and whisk by hand to blend. Place the bowl over the simmering water (the bottom of the bowl must not touch the water) and whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Heat until the mixture reaches 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and the eggs look light in color and texture. When the eggs reach 160 degrees, remove the bowl from the saucepan (keep burner on) and beat on high speed for 3 minutes.

While the eggs are beating, place butter, cream, and chocolate in a medium mixing bowl and set the bowl in the saucepan over the simmering water. Let it sit for 1 minute, then gently stir with a silicone spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and wipe the bottom of the bowl dry. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs, lower the speed to medium, and beat until there are no streaks of egg visible. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the Grand Marnier. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl, making sure that any streaks of egg are blended into the chocolate. Cover filling with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

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 15 inches wide and less than 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut 24 circles of dough, rerolling once as needed. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg and water for egg wash.

Place 2 teaspoons of chocolate 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 Demerra sugar. Place pans in preheated oven and bake until pocket pies are golden brown, about 15 to 18 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.

Easy Cream Cheese Pie Dough
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of the food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend. Add the cold butter pieces and process for 8 to 10 seconds, until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Add the cream cheese and pulse 30 times (1-second pulses), or until large, shaggy clumps of dough form.

Transfer dough to a work surface and knead gently 2 or 3 times to create a cohesive dough. Flatten into a 7-inch square about ¾ inch thick and wrap in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes before rolling.

Recipe adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking by Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet

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