Morroccan Eggplant and Apricot Pies

**Harissa, a North African chile sauce , lends heat to these hand pies.  Brand vary in intensity, so taste yours first.  If it seems fiery , start with a little, and cook a portion of the meat to taste.  You can also make your own sauce.

Dried apricots and harissa give sweetness and spice to a meaty filling wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust.

This is a recipe I found in Martha Stewart magazine in 2007.

Makes 40


  • 3                   tbsp extra-virgin oil
  • 1/2                medium eggplant, peeled and cut into
  •                      1/2″  cubes (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2             lbs.  Ground Beef mix
  • 2                  slices white bread, torn into large pieces 
  • 1/4               cup whole milk 
  • 2                  tsp green masala
  • 1                  small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1                  large egg 
  •                     Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 1 1/4            lb ground chuck (80 percent to 85 percent lean)
  • 1/2                cup chopped dried apricots
  • 3                    tbsp Harissa


  • 1                    recipe Short Crust Pastry
  •                       extra flour for dusting
  • 1                    large egg, slightly beaten, for the wash
  • 1                    tbsp cold water


Make the filling:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium – high heat.  Cook eggplant with salt, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly golden, about 5 minutes.  Let cool.
  2. Mix together eggplant, meat, apricots, and harissa until just combined.  Divide into 40 and shape into a small sausage.
  3. Make the short crust pastry and make 4 disks.  Roll out 1 disk at a time to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
  4. Cut into 5 inch circles.  Refrigerate scrapes if needed.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly brush edges of 1 dough circle with egg wash.  Top with 1 portion of meat.  Fold dough to encase filling, forming a half moon.  Carefully press around edges to seal.  Press with a fork.  Make a vent in the top using a skewer or a kniife.  Repeat with remaining dough and meat, transferring pies to parchment lined baking sheets.  Refrigerate until dough is very firm, about an hour or freeze for 30 min.
  6. Brush tops with eggwash.   Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden and filling is cooked through,  about 40 minutees.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

Make Ahead:

Uncooked pies can be frozen,  wrapped in plastic, for up to a month.  Proceed with baking instruction(no extra  baking time needed)

Meat Mix
small sausage         
Filled Pies