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GROWNUP GOURMET PIZZA POCKETS*

Have you outgrown or forgotten those frozen, microwave pizza pockets? There's hope. This puff pastry recipe wraps new ingredients in buttery blanket, with mix and match ingredients to make the leap to handmade mini pies. Choose different combinations of herbs, cheese and meat to take your pockets around the world. Think oregano and feta for a Greek version or old cheddar and bacon for a Canadian memory or basil and parm-mozzarella blend for an Italian bite. The game changer is using puff pastry, not pizza dough. It imparts a buttery coat for your delicious filling. It's as easy as pie!

INGREDIENTS:

1 450g package frozen butter puff pastry, thawed overnight in fridge 
1 tbsp Garlic olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
1 tbsp oregano or marjoram, leaves only chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
12 cherry tomatoes
1 tsp Kosher salt or more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
1 cup grated Gruyére, cheddar, or parmesan/mozzarella combo
1/3 cup crème fraîche or full fat sour cream or cream cheese
1 large egg, whisked for egg wash
Options: Replace basil for oregano; add cooked bacon bits 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

FILLING

Place olive oils in large skillet on medium heat. Cook about 3 minutes, then add herbs and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add whole cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until tomatoes soften. Crush tomatoes with spoon and cook until jammy and thickened, about 10 minutes. Avoid the mixture being juicy. Set aside to cool. Place cheese in medium bowl. Add crème fraîche (or substitute) and combine well. 

PASTRY PREP

Place one sheet of puff pastry on a large well-floured surface. Roll to 1/8-inch thick. Slice to make 6 to 8 rectangles. Set aside rectangles on well floured cutting board. Repeat with second sheet of puff pastry. Beat egg with 1 tbsp water in small bowl. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY

Arrange rectangles vertically. Mound 2 tbsp cheese mixture on the bottom half  leaving a 1-inch border. Top with 1 tbsp tomato mixture. Brush all outside edges with a thin layer of egg wash. Fold the empty half over the filling so edges of the pastry meet evenly. Crimp edges to seal completely. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, about 1-inch apart. Lightly brush the tops of pastry with egg wash. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and cut two 1/2-inch vents on the top of each rectangle. You can do this in two stages, baking the first 8, and then the second 8. 

BAKE

Place in oven. Bake until pastry is cooked through and golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. If not serving immediately, you can cool completely and place in freezer bags and in your freezer until ready to use.

Inspired by Bon Appetit