This recipe had me at bacon.
The past few weeks, the interwebz have been flooded with recipes that are “perfect for the Super Bowl”. But it’s still the same old wings and dip, year after year.
Come on world. INSPIRE ME.
Then I stumbled on a recipe for Spekis Piragi, a buttery Latvian turnover filled with bacon and onions. It was as if the heavens opened up and handed me a pastry.
These handheld buttery nuggets of joy are super simple to throw together, and take “pigs in a blanket” to a whole new (and much more acceptable) level. Half of these golden turnovers disappeared into our stomachs within minutes. This phenomenal snack will be the star of any gathering, football or otherwise, making all other appetizers tremble in their own inferiority.
Because the only thing better than bacon, is bacon wrapped in a pastry crust.
Bacon Turnovers (Spekis Piragi) Recipe
(adapted from Saveur)
Makes about 30 bacon turnovers
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/8 oz pkg or 1 1/8 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 c + 1/8 c milk
6 tbsp butter
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb thick cut bacon, cut into 1/8″ cubes
1/2 small onion, minced
fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1 egg white, lightly beaten
For the turnover dough
Combine 1 tsp of the sugar, yeast and 1/4 c of warm water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Or you can be truly bad ass and do this with nothing but a bowl and a wooden spoon.
Heat remaining sugar, butter, milk and salt over medium heat in a saucepan until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add milk mixture and flour to the mixing bowl. Mix on low until ball of dough forms. Increase speed to medium and knead for 8 min. Move dough to a bowl greased with vegetable oil. Cover and place in a warm spot for about 1 1/2 hours, until dough has doubled in size.
For the bacon filling
Cook bacon on medium heat until fat renders. Add onion and continue cooking until onion is caramelized and bacon is cooked, but not crispy. Season with black pepper and set aside to cool.
For the turnover assembly
Preheat oven to 400F. Divide the dough into two pieces. Leave one covered, and move the other to a floured surface. Roll the dough until 1/4″ thick. You may need to periodically dust under the dough with a light coat of flour to prevent it from sticking. Using a cookie cutter, or can (with both ends removed), cut circles in the dough.
Place 1 tsp of the bacon onion filling in the center of each circle. Moisten half the perimeter of each piece of dough with a little bit of the egg white. Use your finger, you’ll find it to be the easiest way. Fold over the dough to create a crescent shape. Pinch down the edges to secure.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Transfer the pastries to the sheet tray seam side down, while squeezing the ends. The pastries will end up looking like boats. Combine heavy cream, egg yolk, and 1 tbsp of water. Using a pastry brush, glaze each pastry with the egg wash. Bake for 15m or until golden. Serve warm. If baking in advance, put pastries in a 350F oven for 3-5 min to warm through.
The filling can be made up to 2 days in advance, and kept in the fridge. The dough can be made the night before and left in the fridge to rise over night. Remove from fridge the next day and bring to room temp before rolling. And yes, you can double the recipe.