A turnover or pasty is filling wrapped and sealed in dough to form a type of sandwich. The dough can be puff pastry, biscuit dough with less baking powder and no milk, or it can be bread dough. The fillings can be savory or sweet. The shape rectangular, triangular or half moon. The turnovers can be baked, fried, grilled or boiled and then baked or fried.
Meat pies have been common since at least the Middle Ages. It seems every nation and culture has their own variation. There is the Pierog of Eastern Europe, the Panzarotti and Calzone of Italy, the Empanada of South America, and the Bierock of Germany to name just a few. Recipes for all of these can be found on the internet.
Among the best known of these in America is the Cornish pasty. The recipes and methods for making these came to America from Cornwall England with immigrating miners. The dough traditionally contained suet but any biscuit dough will work if you don’t use as much baking powder and use water instead of milk. The filling is made of cooked finely minced meat and an equal amount of vegetables. A bit of seasoned gravy is added They are usually made in a half moon shape The edge is sealed by crimping the edges together and the pasties are baked until browned in a moderate oven. The heavy sealed edge was not eaten; it served as a means for dirty hands to hold the meat pie.
This recipe is my version of a neat turnover. The number of turnovers it makes depends on the size you make. The recipe can be doubled
- 2 cups of all-purpose flout
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon of salt
- 5 tablespoons of solid shortening, can be part butter
- 2/3 cup very cold water
Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or rub in using finger tips. Stir in the cold water a bit at a time. It should resemble pie dough. Add a bit more if it seems too dry. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Roll out into a thin sheet, less than a quarter inch thick. Cut into 4 inch squares or rounds. Put the filling on half of each piece and fold the dough over to form triangles or half rounds. There should be about a half inch of dough past the filling. If using cheese, sprinkle it over the filling. Brush the edges of the dough with water and seal well. The turnovers can be brushed with an egg wash before baking. Put on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake in a 425 degree F. oven until browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- 1 cup or less of finely chopped or ground meat
- ½ of an onion, sliced thin
- ½ cup or more of cooked vegetables
- 1 cup of mashed potatoes
- ¼ cup of beef or chicken bouillon or leftover gravy
- Shredded cheese, optional
Brown the meat in a bit of butter in a hot frying pan. Add the onion. Stir and cook until the onion is tender. Add the vegetables and cook a few minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mashed potatoes and bouillon. Mix together well and cool before using in the turnovers. The filling should be moist but thick.
Whop biscuits (canned biscuits) can be used.
Baking mix can be used.
Ruff puff pastry or puff pastry can be used.
The meat can be any type including poultry and fish. It should always be finely chopped and cooked.
A vegetarian version can be filled with cooked mushrooms and other vegetables. Add a bit of vegetable stock and herbs.
Sweet fillings can be stewed fruits or canned pie fillings. Add spices such as cinnamon. The turnovers can be brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon before baking.
Onions, scallions, green onions should be cooked with the meat.
Minced garlic can be added when the meat is cooking. Always add garlic to pork fillings.
The Germans use meat, sauerkraut, onion, mashed potatoes and curds (pot cheese or cottage cheese well drained). They also use mushrooms and cabbage.
Pork is good with sliced apples and onion.
Instead of baking the pies can be browned in butter in a frying pan or cooked in deep fat.
The potatoes work best if mashed but diced or sliced peeled and boiled potatoes can be used.
A tablespoon or so of sour cream can be added to the dough. It makes it easier to handle.
Leftover stews can be used as a filling. Mix in with leftover mashed potatoes.
Tomatoes should be cooked and drained before adding to the filling.
Sour cream, mustard, horseradish and condiments can be served with these or included in the filling.
Potted meats such as deviled ham can be used alone or with cooked onions.