These leek, mushroom and feta hand pies are the perfect treat to have on hand during the cold winter months. A flaky pie dough filled with leeks, mushrooms and feta, baked into a perfectly golden pie. Ideal to start the day with or a snack when the hunger calls.
Colder months call for more comfort food. These hand pies for me scream comfort food. While growing up, I remember always having on hand a version of these mini pies in the freezer. And, whenever I felt a bit peckish I used to just warm one up and I would be all satisfied and cosy. The absolute best thing about these hand pies, is that as their name says, they fit perfectly in your hand! This year has just started but one thing I know for sure, is that all I want is to eat only comfort food for now. I think it might be because, with being constantly at home, as I’m still working from here and with the temperature radically lowering down, all I need is to feel cosy and happy after my meal.
Flaky pie dough
For these hand pies, I opted to go with a flaky pie dough as I adore how crumbly this type of dough gets, and personally I just love picking up the fallen crumbs from the plate. Besides, this dough is so easy to make that it was a no brainer.
To get a successful flaky dough the secret is to keep everything really cold and to work as fast as you can. We don’t want the butter to melt while we’re forming and shaping the dough. If this happens, we will loose all the flakiness of the dough. Therefore, while making this dough make sure to use your hands the least as possible and to work on a cold surface, such as your kitchen countertop. Another important tip: Please leave the dough rest for at least an hour before working with it! This definitely makes a huge difference on the outcome of your baked goods.
The recipe for this flaky pie dough can be used also for a full sized pie and not just for these mini ones.
The delicate and sweet leeks, together with the earthy mushrooms and the tangy and salty feta cheese create such a complimenting and rich flavour. Another key ingredient is fresh thyme, which gives the filling an added floral and peppery taste.
Although in this recipe I’m specifically using feta cheese you can substitute it with a more sweeter cheese such as ricotta. Or else if you want to have a melty cheese in the centre of these pockets you can use gouda, grana padano or even mozzarella. However, I would be careful with the latter as it might make the filling a bit too wet.
Have fun with these pies!
Even though here I’m instructing how to make them in small rectangular pies, don’t limit yourself. Choose whatever fits best for you. You can either make them in half moons, circles, triangle, etc. All these work just as fine. Although be careful with the cooking times, as here I’m instructing what worked for me with this shape and size. Keep in mind that if you make them smaller or even slightly larger this might effect the cooking time!
Leek, Mushroom and Feta Hand Pies
- 400 g Mushrooms a mix of white button and cremini
- 1 Leek
- 100 g Feta grana padano, ricotta, mozzarella
- 30 g Butter 2 tbsp
- 15 ml olive oil 1 tbsp
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh Thyme
- Egg wash – 1 egg yolk + water
- 350 g plain flour
- 230 g cold butter cubed
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp cold water 75 ml
- nigella seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.
- In a large bowl mix together the flour and salt.
- Add the cubed cold butter and work into the flour. You can either use a pastry cutter or work with your hands. If you're using your hands, you have to work fast so as not to melt the butter. Rub in all the butter in the flour until you have a coarse mixture with small pebbles of butter. This process can be also done in a food processor.
- Slowly start adding a tablespoon at a time of cold water, while forming a smooth dough. Your dough might require less or more water.
- Once the dough is ready, wrap into some cling film and store in the fridge for at least an hour or two.
- While the dough is resting in the fridge, prepare your filling. *
- Clean the leeks and discard the dark green part. Keep the dark green part in the freezer and save it to make some vegetable stock. Chop the white and light green parts of the leek into small pieces.
- With a paper towel clean the mushrooms and remove any excess soil left. Dice the mushrooms into small pieces.
- Once you have everything prepared, melt half the butter and the olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the leeks and let them cook for about 5 minutes until they are nice and soft.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan, making sure not to over crowd the pan. If you don't have a large enough pan you can do this step in batches.
- As soon as the mushrooms start taking colour, add the remaining butter to the pan and mix everything well. Season with salt and pepper, and add the fresh thyme leaves to the mixture.
- Let the mushroom and leeks mixture cook for about 10 minutes, until all the ingredients are all nicely cooked. Let the mixture cool completely and drain from any excess juices.
- Crumble the feta cheese and set aside. Mix the egg and water together for the egg wash, set aside.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
- On a floured surface open the pie dough into a large circle of about 5mm thickness. From the circle cut equal sized rectangles. The recommended size of each rectangle should be 15cm x 9cm.
- Fill half of the rectangle with the leek and mushroom mixture and sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on top. Make sure to leave space around the edges of the filling.
- With a pastry brush, paint the edges of the dough around the filling with the egg wash. This will help you achieve a secure closing of the pies. Fold over the other half of the dough and press the ends together around the filling with your finger. You can either leave them as such or else press them down further with a fork. On the top part of the pies, slit two small cuts with a sharp knife.
- Place the pies on the lined baking tray and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This step helps the dough to remain closed while baking, although no worries if some of the juices ooze out while baking.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C or 430°F.**
- Once ready to bake, brush the top and sides of the pies with the egg wash, and sprinkle with some seeds of your choice. I sprinkled some of mine with nigella seeds and some others with za'atar.
- Bake the pies for about 20 minutes or until they have a nice golden brown colour.
- Let the pies cool slightly before serving and enjoy!
- You can freeze these pies before or after cooking.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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