Jul 11, 2012 7:44 PM

Let's Make a Meal: Sausage & Cheese Savory Tarts

TUCSON - Today on Let's Make a Meal, our food contributor, Jennifer English, stopped by with her favorite recipe for savory pies.

Here is the recipe for Sausage & Cheese Savory tarts adapted from the original by Lee Bailey:

Hot Water Pastry
3/4 cup solid shortening (Crisco)
1/4 boiling water
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups flour

Place the shortening in a bowl, pour boiling water over it and blend carefully. Stir mixture until smooth. Add milk and continue stirring.
Combine the flour and salt in bowl of food processor. Add the shortening mixture and process by pulsing until mixture forms ball of dough. Flatten slightly between sheets of saran wrap and chill for 1 hour in fridge.
To make individual pies, roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness and use a cutter to make 3" to 31/2" rounds for the tops and bottoms of the pies. Make sure you have enough and that the dough is large enough to accommodate the apple size. One tip if the apple is larger than the dough is to use the same cutter used for the dough rounds for the apple, then roll out the round slightly bigger to allow for crimping and sealing.

Sausage & Cheese Filling

1/2 # Italian Sausage ( I use 1 link each of sweet and spicy Italian, removed from natural casing)
2 Tbsp flour
6Tbsp warm chicken stock
1 Granny Smith or other favorite apple( I used Pink Lady)
1 Tsp chopped fresh Thyme
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese ( I prefer sliced Colby jack & Reggiano Parmigiana grated in combo)

Over medium high heat cook sausage , stirring to prevent sticking or clumping until the meat is cooked. (3-5 minutes) Pour off excess fat, then return the pan to the heat. Sprinkle cooked meat with flour and cook further 1-2 minutes, stirring to coat thoroughly. Add the chicken stock and continue cooking until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in the cheese apple trim diced, and thyme.
Peel and core the apple, then slice into 1/4 inch thick horizontal slices.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Prepare the tarts. Place an apple round on a single tart shell bottom, centered. Leave room to attach and crimp top tart dough. Add rounded spoonful of sausage filling to center of apple slice. Brush dough bottom edge with egg and place top dough over entire pie. Crimp edges with a fork and brush with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until done and golden brown. larger pies take a few minutes longer.

Allow to cool fully before wrapping of packing.


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