When it comes to the basics, look no further than a cookbook by renowned Test Kitchen master Pamela Clark. Her simple, triple-tested recipes are delicious and genuinely foolproof. Her newest book, Pocket Pies, celebrates empanadas, pasties, turnovers and more from the world of sweet and savory handheld pastry. First up: rather than choose between Chinese takeout and homemade savory pie for dinner, why not find a happy compromise?
- 4 -pound whole duck
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 egg, beaten lightly
Five Spice Pastry
- 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 teaspoons orange rind, finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, chopped coarsely
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Rinse duck under cold water.
- Place duck in large saucepan; cover with cold water.
- Bring to a boil, uncovered.
- Reduce heat; simmer covered for 30 minutes. Cool in water in pan.
- Remove meat from duck; discard skin and bones.
- Shred meat.
- Meanwhile, make five-spice pastry: process flour, rind and five-spice until combined.
- Add butter; process until crumbly.
- Add egg and water; process until ingredients just come together.
- Knead dough on floured surface until smooth.
- Enclose in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in large frying pan; cook shallot, stirring, until soft.
- Add flour; cook while stirring for 1 minute.
- Gradually stir in combined stock, wine, sauce, juice and sugar; bring to a boil.
- Simmer, uncovered for 3 minutes.
- Add duck; season to taste. Cool.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Grease four (1-cup) round pie pans.
- Roll pastry between sheets of parchment paper until large enough to line pans with 2 inches of pastry overhanging.
- Lift pastry into pans, press into base and side.
- Divide duck mixture among pies.
- Fold excess pastry over filling to enclose.
- Position a cinnamon stick on each pie; brush with egg.
- Bake about 25 minutes.
- Stand pies in pans for 5 minutes before serving.
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