Cajun-spiced shrimp, peppers, and tomatoes wrapped in a deep fried buttermilk pastry.
These tasty little hand pies were inspired by Louisiana’s crawfish pie, filled with tender shrimp, lots of veggies, and a hint of spice.
I prefer to make my dough a day in advance to allow it to fully hydrate and break up the prep. But if you prefer to make it the day of, let it rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling. Resting gives the gluten time to relax and makes the dough easier to roll. While the dough is resting, make the filling.
The filling for these pies has a lot of ingredients, but it is simple to make. Saute the veggies, add the spices and a bit of stock, reduce, and add the shrimp to cook through. Cool the mixture and form the pies.
Forming the pies is where it gets a little difficult. Roll out the dough and cut 4 1/2 inch rounds. I like to chill the rounds before filling so they are easier to handle. Each pastry round gets 1 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the center. Then, one side is folded over the filling and sealed to the opposite side. Once sealed, the very corner gets turned in and pressed toward the filling.
This process is repeated over and over until reaching the end. At the end, there will be a little tail of dough. Fold the dough underneath the pie and press to seal it. Your pies should have a spiral-looking edge.
The pies don’t have to look perfect, but they do need to be sealed to prevent bursting during frying. If the edges are not sticking together, dab a little bit of water on them. If they are sticking to your hands and work surface, dust them with a little bit of flour.
The spiral technique takes a little time to master. Another option for crimping the edges is to use a fork. Fold one side of the pastry over the filling and seal with the opposite side. Dip a fork in flour and press along the seal. Be sure not to press all the way through the dough. This method takes less time while keeping a decorative appearance.
Cajun Shrimp Hand Pies
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 20 shrimp 31-45 peeled, deveined, and chopped
- 1 cup onion diced 1/2 onion
- 1 clove garlic 1 tsp
- 2 tbsp green onion chopped 1 onion
- 1 rib celery diced 1/2 cup
- 1-2 roasted red peppers diced 1/2 cup
- 1 tomato diced 1 cup
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp old bay seasoning
- 1/16 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 pinch allspice
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 cup chicken or fish stock
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp parsley
- salt to taste
- oil for frying
- lemon wedges to serve
- Mix the flour and salt. Cut in the butter. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. Knead the dough 3-5 times until smooth. Form a disc, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 2 days.
- Dust a surface with flour and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out rounds with a 4 1/2 inch cutter. Gather the scraps, reroll, and cut out rounds. Discard any scraps. Yield 14-16 rounds. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Melt the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sweat until softened. Add the celery, pepper, and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Mix in the old bay, cayenne, paprika, allspice, pepper, and oregano. Add the tomato and stock. Allow the liquid to reduce and add the shrimp, green onion, and parsley. Cook until the shrimp turn pink and remove from heat. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Cool completely before filling the pies.
- Lay out the dough rounds and place 1-1 1/2 tbsp in the center. Brush the edge with water and fold in half. Press to seal the edges together. Starting on one side, fold the corner toward the filling and press down. Another corner will be formed. Take the new corner and fold it toward the filling and press down. Repeat this process until you reach the end of the pie. At the end of the pie take the remaining dough folding it underneath the pie and press. Repeat this process until all of the hand pies are made. These can be made a day or two in advance.
- Heat a pot of oil to 350 degrees. Fry the pies until golden brown. Drain on paper, season with salt, and serve with lemon wedges.