Anna suggests that you add some lemon juice or vinegar to the pastry as the acidity will promote flakiness of the pastry. You also need to work quite fast with this pastry, especially in the hot Malaysian climate. Tourtière can be made up to 2 days in advance and reheated in a 149°C oven, so you can enjoy a stress-free Christmas.
Anna Olson with her tourtiere
You can also make mini bite-sized versions of them
Tourtière (French-Canadian beef pie)
For the pastry
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 tbsp lemon juice
6-10 tbsp of cold water, whenever needed
For the filling
1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 lbs ground veal or beef or a combination of both (You can also use pork)
2 onions, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3/4 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed celery seeds
A dash of all spice powder
A dash of ground cloves
1 cup of apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup water
1 egg mixed with 2 tbsp of water, for glazing
For the pastry:
1. Combine flour with salt.
2. Cut in butter and shortening until the mixture resembles a rough crumbly texture.
3. Add lemon juice and water. Using a stand mixer on low speed, blend until dough comes together.
4. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
For the filling:
1. Cook potatoes in an uncovered pot of salted water until soft and tender (about 10 minutes). Drain the potatoes. Mash the potatoes and set aside to cool.
2. In a large saute pan or skillet, saute the veal or beef over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Drain off excess fat.
3. Add onions, carrots and seasoning. Saute until tender, for about 10 minutes.
4. Add cider and water and bring up to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Remove from heat, stir in potatoes and let cool at room temperature.
6. Preheat oven to 190°C.
7. On a lightly floured surface, cut dough in half and roll it out to about 1/4 inch (0.5cm) thickness and line an 8 inch (20cm) springform pan.
8. Fill it with tourtiere filling. Roll out the remaining dough and cut a hole in centre to allow the steam to escape. Place the dough on top of the filling. Pinch the edges of the crust together and brush with eggwash.
9. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until pastry turns a rich golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and serve.
*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 3 December 2012.