Pastry Mice Hand Pies with Pulled Pork
Stuffed with a sweet and savory filling of pulled pork and raisins, these adorable little pastry mice hand pies come straight from the pages of Dana Claire’s debut fantasy novel, The Reclaimed Kingdom.
Servings 6 servings of 4 hand pies each
Pulled Pork Filling
- 1 ½ - 2 pound boneless pork butt, cut into five or so manageable chunks
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ cup black currant jam
- 1 cup raisins
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ½ cup water
- 2 Batches All-Butter Pie Crust (enough for 2 double crusted pies), chilled
- Egg Wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water)
- Optional: Sea salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, to decorate
Make the Spice Rub:
Mix together 1 tablespoon brown sugar with the cumin, pepper, salt, cinnamon, and coriander.
Rub this mixture all over each of the chunks of pork butt so that each is completely coated on all sides.
Sear and Cook the Pork:
Heat the olive oil in the bowl of an Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker) set to the saute setting. Sear the pork chunks on all sides, about 5 minutes total (sear in batches if needed). This will caramelize the sugar and lend tastier flavors to the finished filling.
Turn off the saute setting and add the currant jam, cider vinegar, tomato paste, and water to the pot insert. Secure the lid and Pressure Cook on High for 30 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
Remove the chunks of pork to a plate, and turn the Instant Pot back to the saute setting. Simmer the resulting drippings and sauce until its reduced by half, about 15-20 minutes.
Shred the pork with forks when its cool enough to handle and set aside.
Mix and Chill the Filling:
Transfer the shredded pork to a container and mix in 1 cup of the reduced sauce and the raisins. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before using it to fill the pastries.
Chill the remaining sauce for serving or another use (it’s a great barbeque sauce!).
Fill the Pastry Mold:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using one-fourth of the total amount of pie dough at a time, roll out the dough so that it is 1/4th-1/8th inch thick. Slice off a small strip with a sharp knife and lay it over the ears of the silicone mouse mold. Use you fingers to stuff the dough into the ear cavities so that both are completely full, connected by a “band” of thin dough between.
Cut the rest of the rolled dough into strips and line the inside of the mold, making sure the strips are long enough to overlap the sides. Don’t be gentle – press the layers down so that they fill all of the crevices and the dough joins smoothly.
Now, take about a tablespoon of the chilled filling and press that gently into the little pocket you’ve left open. Fold the strips of dough over the filling and pinch together to seal the seams.
Bake the Hand Pies
Bake for 20 minutes then remove from the oven. The pastry will only be partially cooked through. Let the silicone mold cool enough to handle, then flip it over onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Carefully work the under-baked mouse from the mold, peeling the silicone back while you pull the head and ears out. If an ear comes loose, the dough will still be malleable enough that you can press it back on while keeping its shape.
Brush the uncovered mice with an egg wash – not only will it give them a nice golden color as they bake, it will also act like edible glue, holding everything together.
Bake the rest of the way through, another 15-20 minutes minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 4 minutes. Plate and enjoy, serving the extra sauce on the side if you wish.