Hand Pies with Collards, Sweet Potato, Spiced Black Beans + Goat Cheese in a Salt + Pepper Crust

Hand Pies with Collards, Sweet Potato, Spiced Black Beans + Goat Cheese in a Salt + Pepper Crust

If I’m doing things right around here, Sundays are spent wrangling the goods from Saturday’s CSA pickup and prepping meals for the week. In the Fall, bitter greens simmer next to a pot of black or pinto beans while root vegetables, squash and/or broccoli roast in the oven. A batch of grains like farro, brown rice or quinoa steams to serve throughout the week. By Friday, we have usually eaten through most of what I prepared on Sunday and I am aiming to clear my fridge for the next batch of vegetables from Johnson’s Backyard Farm.

Photos by  Mackenzie Smith Kelley

This time around, the collards braised at the beginning of the week were sitting in the fridge next to Sunday’s baked sweet potatoes, almost to be stuffed into a pocket together. The last of a pot of black beans and a pack of goat cheese on the shelf below were enough to inspire me to roll out Nothing in the House’s dough, flecked with black pepper.

Hand Pies with Goat Cheese and Sweet Potatoes

I re-cooked the beans with toasted spices here, but that step is optional. A can of black beans works just as well as the last of your leftover legumes. Roasted butternut squash would pinch-hit well for sweet potatoes, just as braised Swiss chard or kale could be subbed for collards. I used a bowl, about 6-inches in diameter, to cut circles that would be folded into half moons. That makes these hand pies big enough to grab and go for a well-rounded meal, though a salad on the side really seals the deal!

Hand Pies with Collard Greens and Sweet Potatoes

Hand Pies with Collards, Sweet Potato, Spiced Black Beans + Goat Cheese in a Salt + Pepper Crust

Hand Pie Ingredients

Filling for the Hand Pie

  • About a cup of Braised Collards
  • One medium sweet potato, roasted or baked and skins removed. 
  • A cup and a half of black beans
  • 1/2 a teaspoon each of whole cumin and coriander
  • About a teaspoon of Aleppo pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced 
  • A tablespoon or so of olive oil
  • Goat cheese
  • Salt


Hand Pie Dough

Adapted from Nothing in the House’s pie crust recipe

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or 1 c. all-purpose + 1 c. whole-wheat pastry flour*)
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 sticks COLD unsalted butter (12 tablespoons), cut into slices
  • 1/2 beaten large egg, cold (save the other half to brush on top of the crust)
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water
  • 1/2 tablespoon cold apple cider vinegar

Hand Pie Directions

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and pepper. Using a pastry cutter or fork and knife, cut in the butter. You want to make sure butter chunks remain, as that's what makes the crust flaky.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the COLD liquid ingredients (Using cold liquids ensures that your butter will not melt--another crucial detail for a flaky crust!).

Pour the liquid mixture into the flour-butter mixture and combine using a wooden spoon. Mix until dough comes together into a shaggy dough. Form into a ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before rolling out.

Heat oil in a skillet add the cumin and coriander. Cook until you can smell the spices, about 30-45 seconds, then add your minced garlic and cook for another 20 seconds or so. Add your beans.

If you baked your sweet potatoes in-skin and they are unseasoned, add a pinch of salt to them as you place all of your filling ingredients within reach before you start to roll out your pie dough.

Sprinkle all-purpose flour on the counter and roll dough into about a ⅛”-thick slab. Using a bowl or a drinking glass as a guide run a knife along the edge of the bowl to cut the dough to cut it into circles. You can also press through the dough as you would with a cookie or biscuit cutter. Spoon a tablespoon or so of collards onto the dough, then a tablespoon of black beans, and top with sweet potatoes and goat cheese. If it feels like your filling is too much or too little for your dough, adjust accordingly.

Pierce with a fork and put your pies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper then in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.* Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400℉. Brush pies with egg wash and bake for about 35 minutes, or until pies are a golden-brown.

* If you want to freeze your hand pies for later, put them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet, then place them in a ziplock back and back in the freezer.

Photos by  Mackenzie Smith Kelley
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