116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It’s August, time to start thinking of school shopping, preparing schedules, and most importantly, enjoying the last dog days of summer. Since we have been inside and away from our loved ones for well over a year due to the pandemic, its nice to finally come back together and have fun again. The last thing any of us want to do is be inside cooking for hours, but we still have to eat, don’t we?
I’m not sure how I came across the recipe for this dough, but I am sure it is almost foolproof. Once it’s fried it is flaky and has a nice chew to it as any great pie dough should in this situation. This recipe can be altered in so many different ways, so I decided to showcase two of my favorite variations — taco meat and cherry pie.
These little pockets of deliciousness will be great travel companions. They can be frozen, reheated and eaten on the run. They are similar to empanadas except they have a more chewy texture with a crispy outside. The dough is the star of the show here because it’s visually attractive, the aroma is enticing, and it is the perfect comfort zone for almost any type of filling you want to try in it.
The fruit pockets are amazing. You can make them a la mode with your favorite ice cream or top it with fresh whipped cream topping. When filling these yummy little pockets you may not think you will get the best filling to dough ratio, but you will. You don’t want to over fill these or else the dough will burst open and you will lose some — if not all — of your filling as they fry. Trying different fruit or different textures of fruit can take this fruit pocket to so many levels. They can go from the breakfast table to an intimate dinner setting with ease just by switching up toppings or sauces.
As for the taco meat pockets, you can fill these with multiple combinations from any nationality and culture — from pizza options to a variety of breakfast foods — all of these can be nestled into a dough pocket. The versatility is through the roof.
These are great for food prep days as well. Try frying them and freezing them in individual freezer bags so that you can heat them up in the microwave and no time when you’re ready for lunch.
No matter how you slice it, these fried taco meat/fruit pockets can be an amazing start to your day, a midday snack or dinner. I’m getting hungry just thinking about them. Who's ready to eat?
Well, let’s roll up our sleeves, wash our hands and get started creating our very own culinary art that is fried meat/fruit pockets.
2 packages softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs (1 for the dough mixture and the other beaten in a small bowl to brush on the pockets before frying)
5 pounds lean ground beef (I used 85 percent lean)
1 package shredded Mexican style cheese blend (any shredded cheese will work)
16 ounce jar of Picante sauce (Use 8 ounces for the recipe and the other 8 ounces for dipping)
1 package taco seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper
2 cups cooking oil for frying
1 can cherry pie filling (and chunky fruit pie filling will work)
First prepare the dough by mixing the cream cheese in a medium to large sized bowl until creamy about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated. Then add the salt and flour in increments mixing well until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl.
Cover the bowl with saran wrap or a kitchen towel for 30 minutes or until you are done preparing the meat mixture.
Season the ground beef then, in a medium-sized skillet, brown the ground beef; drain and add 1 package of taco seasoning with 1/4 cup of water then simmer until beef forms a gravy. Now add the picante sauce and cheese mixing the ingredients together well. Let cool while you work on your dough.
On a flat, cleaned and dry surface sprinkle a hand full of flour. Remove the dough from the bowl, placing on the floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Separate dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out each quarter of dough and cut out 4-inch rounds from each quarter. For meat pockets, add about 1 teaspoon of shredded cheese to the middle of each round of dough, then top with a tablespoon of taco meat.
Here is where it can get tricky, especially if you over worked your dough. Using your finger, rub a little water around the edge of your dough (it helps the dough seal better). Start in the middle to fold the edges together, then with the tip of a fork gently press along the edge of each pocket to secure closure as well as give a little decoration. Dust with flour and brush with egg wash on both sides. I shape the pocket like a crescent to help fry more evenly. Place in hot grease (350 degrees) and deep fry or fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and salt if you’d like.
Use the same steps to fill dough rounds with cherry pie filling with placing a tablespoon of pie filling in the center of the dough round, wet edges with water using your finger, press edges together using a crimping motion, or like with the meat pockets, you can use a fork.
Dust the pockets with flour and then brush with egg wash. Fry until golden brown, drain on a paper towel, then dust with powdered sugar or make a simple glaze to drizzle on top of the fruit pocket using a cup of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of milk or water stirring until smooth and well blended. Garnish with any leftover filling and condiments of your choice.
Source: Adapted by Michelle Madden