We hardly ever have much leftover turkey from our Christmas dinners, and even the little that we may have we’ll make into turkey sandwiches the next day. But if by any chance you have any leftover turkey that you do not know what to do with, pies are a good option for making use of this delicious meat. In fact, sometimes I force myself to reserve some meat from my roast turkey just so that I can make leftover turkey pies.
You can make the béchamel sauce without the onions, in which case, you just melt the butter and add in the flour and cook until it starts to turn colour before you add the milk. I like the additional sweetness of the wilted onions, but you may omit if you prefer.
You may also use the trio of mixed frozen vegetable but I find that it changes the flavour of the filling too much, especially the corn. You may add some carrots if you wish but I personally prefer just frozen peas.
Be sure to cool down the filling before you assemble the ingredients into the pie, otherwise it will start to melt the butter in the dough and the crust will not be crispy.
Shortcrust pastry has an easy formula for you to remember. Just think of the ratio 4:2:1 as in 4 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part water. You’ll have a perfect pie dough with just the right balance of flavour and flakiness.
To top off the pie, use puff pastry for an elegant flaky upper crust. You may make puff pastry from scratch if you wish, but I just buy mine from the frozen section at the supermarket. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with some sesame seeds for an additional flair and flavour. Remember to pierce some vent holes into the top crust before baking.
Not only does this dish give leftover turkey a second life, it’s a portable meal that is just the right portion size for a light lunch on the go.
- Shortcrust pastry:
- 200g flour
- 100g butter
- 50ml water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Béchamel sauce:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups leftover turkey meat, diced
- ½ cup leftover turkey stuffing
- ¼ cup leftover turkey gravy
- ½ cup mushrooms, diced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup leftover turkey stock
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- sesame seeds
- Sift flour with salt. Cut butter into flour with a pastry cutter or dinner knife until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Gather the dough into a small ball, drizzling with water a little at a time, taking care not to overwork the dough. Set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out short crust pastry to about 5-centimetre thickness and cut out 6 discs with a rice bowl. Press into 4-inch muffin tin with a generous overhang. Allow to chill in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
- Heat butter in a saucepan until melted. Add onions and cook until wilted. Add flour to create a light roux. Add milk and stir until it starts to come to a boil. Add diced turkey meat and simmer about 5 minutes until soft. Add stuffing, gravy, mushrooms and peas to heat through. Add turkey stock or water and bring to a boil. The consistency should resemble a very thick chunky soup. Allow to cool before assembling into pie dough.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Take muffin tin out of refrigerator. Fill to the top with cooled filling, creating a small mound above the rim. Cut puff pastry sheet with a 4-inch circular cutter into 6 discs. Brush edges of pie dough with beaten egg and seal with puff pastry discs. Create fluted edges with a knife and cut 3 vent holes into the centre of each disc. Brush top of puff pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 25 minutes until crispy.