I don’t know about you guys, but I am often very disappointed with the meat pie offerings at many of our African parties or weddings. Eagerly anticipating the promise of various finger foods or “small chops” as we call them, I quickly spot the meat pie stash on a tray and proceed to grab one with the promise of the savory meaty goodness, only to bite into a mediocre filling and bready crust. Since my last meat pie recipe (which I admit was a bit standard… still great, but not a knock out), I have been toiling in the kitchen to achieve the best fail-proof meat pie recipe with the most delicate, flaky meat pie crust which still stays whole and stable in your hand. My personal requirements for perfection are:
- A stable meat pie crust. I have no problems with flaky crusts especially since I am used to making flaky puff pastry, but I need the crust to be more stable. Regular puff pastry would be too delicate for this recipe most of the time.
- Flaky meat pie crust. I also need the crust to be light and airy. I love meat pies, but tough dough pies are not my speed.
How to Accomplish that Flaky Meat Pie Crust?
You will need all-purpose flour, bread flour 1 ½ sticks or 12 tbsp of unsalted cold butter (cut into chunks), 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 15-20 tablespoons of ice cold water.
Mix ingredients with cold butter
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, and gently cut in the cold butter chunks with a pastry blender, fork, knife or your good-ole fingers. A key part of accomplishing this process is the mix of all purpose flour and bread flour!The bread flour adds more structure to the dough and the all purpose flour keeps it light. The texture should not resemble that of bread crumbs! It should have pieces of butter range in sizes, between a pea and a grape.
Slowly add cold water
Add the cold water a tablespoon at a time, while mixing with a wooden spoon to bring the dough together. Add water until the dough comes together, be sure not to add too much water at once. You must use ice-cold water!
Bind dough and refrigerate
Bring the dough together on a floured surface and rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Make sure the dough is wrapped or covered whilst in the refrigerator.
Fold dough in thirds
On a floured surface, roll the dough in a rough rectangle in one direction. Fold the top third down to the center (from the short end of the dough rectangle), then the bottom third up and over that (think about folding it in thirds like folding a letter). Wrap the dough again and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, repeat step 4 rolling out the dough (short side facing you) into a rectangle and folding like a letter. This repetition creates the famous puff pastry layers and flakiness, without having to go through the technical process of laminating the dough.
Divide dough into circles for filling
After the dough has rested for thirty minutes, cut the dough into 12 even pieces without disturbing the layers as much as possible. Roll out each piece into rough circles and stuff with the filling.
Note: Make sure the dough is cold every time you are rolling it out. If the butter in the dough begins to soften/ melt, STOP, and place in the refrigerator until the butter is solid enough to handle
Notice the layers. There should be layers! Please and Thank you!
Any meat pie recipe using this method should produce the most stable and flaky meat pie crust guaranteed (No money back sorry…it’s free)! Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
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Recipe for a Stable and Flaky Meat Pie Crust
- 175 g All-purpose flour
- 175 g bread flour
- 12 tbsp unsalted cold butter (1 ½ sticks or ¾ cups or 170g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 15-20 tbsp ice cold water
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, and gently cut in the cold butter chunks with a pastry blender, fork or knife
- Add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, while mixing with a wooden spoon to bring the dough together. Be sure not to add too much water at once.
- Bring the dough together on a floured surface.
- Wrap or cover the dough and rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough in a rough rectangle in one direction
- Set aside and allow to cool completely before filling into the pastry.
- Fold the short end of the rectangular dough top third down to the center then the bottom third up and over that (think about folding it in thirds, like you would a letter)
- Wrap the dough again and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes, repeat step the prior folding step after rolling out the dough (short side facing you) into a rectangle and folding like a letter to create flaky pastry layers.
- After the dough has rested for 30 minutes, cut the dough into 12 even pieces without disturbing the layers as much as possible.
- Roll out each piece into rough circles and stuff with the filling.