This flaky version of a Calzone is ideal for lunch, or make mini versions for a special occasion. If time is a concern by all means use pre-bought pie dough, but if you do have the time you won’t regret making my pastry dough.
George's Brie Calzone
Makes 4 entrée or 8 appetizer servings
Chef George Hirsch | chefgeorgehirsch.com
You can use George's Favorite Pastry Crust, or (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crust, room temperature.
For the Calzone Crusts:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold milk
For Pastry Crusts:
Chill the butter and milk before you begin. Chilling keeps the pastry crust flaky and prevents the fat pieces from melting into the flour and becoming tough.
Next, mix the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Cut the chilled butter into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or by pinching the fat into the mixture with your hands. The mixture should have fat lumps no larger than the size of raisins. If making pie crust in the summer time cool off the flour by measuring your flour and refrigerate one hour before making dough.
Pour in the chilled liquid just until the milk is absorbed, mixing gently with a fork. You should be able to gently press the dough into a ball. Mix the dough as little as possible: you don't want to cream the lumps of butter into the flour. A crust without lumps of butter will be dense, not flaky. Note that humidity will effect how much liquid the flour will absorb.
Split the dough into two equal parts. Pat them into balls, flattening them slightly, and wrap them in plastic wrap. The dough needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is preferred. Chilling lets the flour absorb all of the liquid, lets the dough relax and become more elastic, and keeps the fat in separate pieces which will give the crust a lighter texture when it is baked.
For the Filling:
1 Green apple, cored, peeled and chopped
1 package frozen spinach, defrost & well drained (squeeze out extra water)
2 Tablespoons bread crumbs
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Mix apple, spinach, black pepper and bread crumbs.
To Make Brie Calzone:
8 slices Brie, 1 slice for each Calzone
1 egg, beaten with teaspoon of water
Roll out pastry dough (if from scratch) into two 10 inch circles and cut in half; or if using prepared store bought pastry cut circles into two half circles. Top each piece of pastry with 1/4 cup filling, and a thick slice of brie, leaving a one-inch edge around pastry. Brush outside edge of dough lightly with water. Fold over the dough into a pocket and seal edges. Pierce the dough with the point a small knife with three small holes to allow steam to escape.
Brush outside of Calzone with beaten egg and place on a baking sheet pan.
Preheat oven to 425° degrees.
The Calzones will bake in about 10-12 minutes.
To check doneness, the bottom of the Calzone will have a hollow sound when tapped with your finger. Serve warm.