The most difficult thing to cook/bake always seems to be those things you had growing up. It seems an impossible task to try and emulate your grandmothers cooking, especially when instead of using the standard teaspoon and tablespoon she used a pinch and a palm. Still, childhood food evokes memories that are worth the effort and inevitable failures because when (if?) you ever succeed it feels exactly like cooking a meal with your grandma. This recipe is so close to the meatless Jamaican patties I ate as a child that I have called it good enough and choose not to mess with it anymore. Now if only I could find a decent coco bread recipe to sandwich this patty because a Jamaican would as soon eat a patty without coco bread as an American would eat a hot dog without a bun.

Rastafarian Jamaican Patties

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced yellow onion
1/8 teaspoon ground curry powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Coarse sea salt
2 larges cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced carrots
1/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced yellow potatoes
1/2 cup fresh green peas (or frozen)
1/2 cup sweet fresh corn (or frozen)
1/2 cup shredded collard greens
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Pastry:
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling: In a medium-size saute pan over medium-low heat, combine oil, onion and spices.  Saute, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are caramelized and spices are fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the milk, carrots, and potatoes, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the carrots and potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the green peas, corn, collard greens, thyme, and lemon juice, cover, and cook for 3 minutes more. Season with additional salt and the white pepper (or to taste) and set aside to allow the flavors to marry. (If using frozen corn and peas add just before setting the pan aside.)

For the pastry: Combine 1 1/2 cups of the white flour with the pastry flour, turmeric, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set the remaining 1/4 cup white flour aside. Add the butter to the flour mixture and  pulsing ingredients in a food processor until crumbly.

Combine the vinegar and water and mix well. Then, without overworking the dough, add the vinegar mixture by the tablespoon, while stirring, just until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and begins to coalesce. Squeeze into a tight ball, flatten, cover in plastic wrap, and set aside (refrigerate if kitchen is warm).

Preheat the oven to 350F.

With the reserved flour, lightly dust a clean surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut six 6-inch circles from the dough (you can use a bowl). Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the center of one side of each circle, leaving about a 1/8-inch border. Fold the other half over to make a half-moon, press to seal, and make ridges around the edge using a fork. (hs note: if your dough is at all on the dry side you may need to run wet fingers around the edge of the circles to help get a good seal).

Transfer the patties to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately.

Source: liberally adapted from 101 cookbooks

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