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The Post Thanksgiving Hand Pie

leftover turkey cornish pasty

To make use of your Thanksgiving leftovers, make this variation on Cornish pasties, or hand pies, that are different enough to appeal to those weary of the same Thanksgiving redux. 

Allow time to chill the dough for at least 1 hour. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 10 meal-sized pies ServingsServings


The Dough

  • 4 cups (520 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour, King Arthur preferred
  • 3 cups (240 grams) cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) very cold non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 2 ½ sticks (280 grams / 20 tablespoons / 1¼ cups) very cold non-dairy, non-hydrogenated margarine
  • ¾ cup (6 fluid ounces) cold, unflavored soy milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon water

Filling (makes about 4 ½ cups)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions or 4 small onions, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, cut in half and grated, any green centers discarded
  • 2 cups chopped roasted turkey thigh or breast meat (½-inch dice)
  • ½ cup dry, full-bodied white wine
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  • ½ cup leftover turkey gravy or ⅔ cup low-sodium store-bought chicken stock plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup cooked or frozen peas, lima beans, or edamame


Make the dough:

Sift together the all-purpose and cake flours, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the cold shortening and margarine and process until the mixture resembles pebbles. Add the soy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing between additions and adding just enough to hold the dough together. Once the dough begins to form a ball in the processor, flour a work surface lightly, transfer the dough to it and shape into a flat, round disk. Wrap in plastic and let rest in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.

Make the filling:

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, until softened.

Then, take a small step back from the stove, and facing away from the pan, slowly add the wine and scrape up browned bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pan. (The pan might flame up when the alcohol hits it, and that is fine—just back away for a moment to let the alcohol burn off). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the the wine has reduced in volume by half.

Add turkey gravy or stock and cornstarch mixture, salt, and brown sugar, and cook, whisking to insure that it has no lumps, for about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and you can pierce them easily with the tip of a sharp knife. Add the turkey and frozen peas. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until heated through. Remove from the heat.
Shape and bake the pasties: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand about 15 minutes. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust a work surface with flour. Position a small bowl of water nearby (in case you need to repair the dough). In another small bowl, beat the egg yolks and water lightly and position that bowl nearby as well.

Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Roll each piece between your palms to form a ball slightly smaller than a tennis ball. Place 1 ball on the work surface and begin to roll it into a circle about 5 to 6 inches in diameter. If the dough rips, gently dab a little water over the surface, sprinkle with a bit of flour and continue to roll until the dough is about ¼ to ⅓ inch thick.

Spoon about 3½ to 4 tablespoons of the filling on one side of the dough circle, leaving about ½ inch of dough uncovered around the edge. Fold the dough over the filling, into a half-moon shape, and press the edges down gently to seal. Pierce the top of the pasty 2 or 3 times with a sharp knife and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling to make 10 pasties.

Brush the filled pasties with the egg wash. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turning the baking sheet 180° halfway through the baking time. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and continue to bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, swapping the baking sheets from one oven rack to the other every 10 minutes, until the pasties are light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

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