Pear Pockets (gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, refined-sugar-free)

PEAR POCKETS.  Not to be confused with Pear Turnovers , or even Pear Handpies . Th...



PEAR POCKETS. 

Not to be confused with Pear Turnovers, or even Pear Handpies. These delicious pockets are more closely related to Pizza Pockets than pie in some ways. Why? It's all in the crust...



And what a crust it is! Imagine if pie crust and scones or cookies had a baby, it would be this crust people! Buttery like a cookie, not quite as sturdy as a bread or pizza crust, and slightly chewy. Load it up to the bursting point with sweet pear pie filling (or any pie filling, sweet or savory) and you end up with a great portable snack or mini-meal that won't spill out in every direction when you slice or bite into it. It's all because of this wondrous crust.

 

 

Why is this crust magical? Several reasons. It's firm enough to encase lots of filling -- even if you over-stuff these pockets like I did! Seriously though...imagine the raw dough cracking under the strain of too much filling, yet no baking disaster ensues! Instead charming holes form, revealing a lustrous filling inside and set in the oven like solid windows into the souls of these pockets. 

 

The magical crust bakes solid in about 10 minutes (unlike most pie crusts which can take much longer). It is as buttery as a cookie but involves no butter at all! It is also gluten-free, soy-free, refined-sugar-free, nut-free and full of EFAs (essential fatty acids) and whole grains. It is nearly vegan as well -- there is a touch of raw honey in the homemade non-dairy butter in this crust that can be replaced with dates or agave nectar. This crust was made using one of my latest inventions: Danielle's Vegan Butter 2.0.



I used my homemade dairy-free butter because I have recently fallen in love with raw cacao butter. It is so healthy for you and so versatile in cooking. Use it to make the best chocolate you've ever tasted (consider saving $3 to buy my new ebook which will explore how to make healthy chocolate at home! Coming soon!) or the best vegan butter I've ever created! Danielle's Vegan Butter 2.0 is loaded with superfoods and good fats, it bakes well and spreads perfectly on toast and even looks like real butter!



This crust is not a sweet one and because of it's sturdiness I think it would also make a great savory pie crust or even a nice crust for a calzone or pizza pocket. Try it! But before you do, try making these great Pear Pockets and be sure to use your leftover scraps of dough to make a small rustic pear galette while you're at it! 

 

The pear filling in these Pear Pockets is divine -- sweet and cinnamony perfection. Best of all, the filling is also gluten-free, refined-sugar-free and dairy-free. The filling can easily be made vegan by substituting maple syrup or agave for the honey in the recipe. 


 

These little pockets didn't last long in our house but I can vouch that they are delightful both hot and cold. I prefer them hot from the oven. In fact, my husband and I ate two each and the entire rustic pear galette straight from the oven one evening last week and ended up skipping dinner entirely. 



My husband speculated that these little pockets of bliss needed a scoop of ice cream on top so we whipped up a small batch of Vanilla Banana Soft Serve in our food processor. 
 


He's a smart man.




Pear Pockets

Makes 5 pie pockets and 1 small Pear Galette
(gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free, nut-free)


Pear Pocket Crust

Part I
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup amaranth flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • dash coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp maca powder

Pulse then blend all Part I ingredients together in a food processor until well mixed.

Part II
  • 1/2 cup pear sauce (or apple sauce)

Add pear sauce and pulse until large crumbs appear.

Part III

Pulse then blend to incorporate. Mixture should look like a crumbly dough.

Part IV
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup very cold water

Add to crumbly dough and blend until dough pulls into a ball. Remove from the processor and form a ball. Place on a large sheet of parchment and wrap it up in a ball. Refrigerate or stick in the freezer for up to 20 minutes before rolling.




Pear Pocket Filling
  • 4 large pears or apples (roughly peeled, cored and chopped)
  • 1 tbsp pear or apple butter
  • 1/3 cup pear or apple sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter or Danielle's butter 2.0
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch coarse sea salt
  • 6 small pitted Sayer dates (40g) roughly chopped
  • splash of whiskey (optional, JD is gluten-free)
Heat a frying pan over medium low heat. Add the vegan butter and melt. Once mostly melted, add the cinnamon and the salt and the pears. Stir through. Add the chopped dates and lemon juice. Add the whiskey and let it simmer. Add the pear sauce and pear butter and stir through. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Add the maple syrup and stir. Add honey and stir. Reduce heat to low and preheat oven to 360F while you roll out the dough.


Roll the dough out thin bvetween two sheets of parchment paper. Once it is your desired thickness cut into small bowl size circles with a cookie cutter or the rim of a cereal bowl. Place each circle of dough on a parchment lined  baking sheet (my dough made 5 cereal bowl rim sized cut-outs without collecting scrap dough after cutting). Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the pear stirfry to the centre of each circle of dough. Fold into halfmoons and seal with your fingers by carefully crimping the edges. My dough was a little too wet (could have benefitted  from the addition of a little extra flour during roll out but I was distracted) and tore a little oozing out filling from the top but still baked perfectly with the holes, no filling oozed out at all. I enjoy rustic looking pastry so I didn't mind. Once these were ready I placed them in the oven centre. I then quickly collected the pastry scraps and rolled them out to a big oval shape on a sheet of parchment. I added the leftover pear mixture to the oval centre and roughly folded the edges to make a small pear galette.  I carefully transferred the parchment paper (galette on top) to another sheet pan and placed it in the oven as well.

Both the mini pies and the galette were cooked after about 12 minutes in the preheated oven. The dough was firm and slightly cracked in appearance, the cracked edges a gentle brown color.

I let them cool slightly on my stovetop before serving them to my hungry husband. To grab the hand pies onto a plate while hot or warm, use a spatula. They should lift off the parchment easily.

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