We were invited to a wine tasting and asked to bring appetizers. I always kind of dread that request as there are so many things that you can make and then your just always at a loss at to what people will like, how many to make and so on and so on. I started rummaging through my books and lists and recipes and then I stumbled on one of my binders with printed out recipes that I had collected and found these tourtieres. I have made them hundreds of times and they are always well received. I like them because as I have stated many times before, these individual sorts of things are just so tedious to me. Everything here can be made a few days ahead and kept refrigerated. Then in the last few hours you can roll the dough, shape them, fill them and bake them and it all done in about 30 minutes.
These are just small pastry shells filled with a spiced ground pork or sausage filling and then topped with a spicy tomato cranberry chutney. They can be served warm or at room temperature and are really something easy and special.
For the filling
1 pound gound pork
1 medium onion — finely chopped
1 clove garlic — minced
1/2 teaspoon dried savory — crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon flour
For the pastry
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter — cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup whole milk
Make the filling
Cook pork with onion, garlic, savory, salt, allspice, and pepper in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently and braking up lumps with a fork, until pork is no longer pink (5 to 7 minutes). Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, until thickened.
Make pastry will filling cools:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Blend in shortening and butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and stir with a fork just until dough forms.. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 10 to 12 times. Roll out dough into a rough 18 inch round (1/8 inch thick), dusting with flour just to keep dough from sticking. Cut out 24 rounds with a 3 inch cutter and 24 leaves with a leaf cutter. Make decorative lines on leaves with the tip of a sharp knife.
Fit each round into a muffin cup and fill with a rounded tablespoon of filling. Arrange leaves on filling.
Bake until crust is golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Lift pies out of muffin cups and transfer to a rack. Cool to warm, about 15 minutes.
Spicy Tomato Cranberry Preserves
Makes 2 cups
1 small red onion — chopped
1 can whole tomatoes, in juice, including juice — 14 – 16 ounces
1 cup fresh cranberries — coarsely chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 strips orange zest
1 strip lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon dried red hot pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon salt
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan over moderate heat, stirring and breaking up tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thick, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool preserves, then chill, covered at least 8 hours for flavors to develop.