How to Make Homemade Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets

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How to Make Cheesy Ham Turnovers, aka Homemade Hot Pockets

Ham, cheese and pastry are a perfect savory, salty combination, so it's no wonder kids (and sometimes parents too) go crazy for ham and cheese Hot Pockets. Try your hand at making homemade versions, which are really quite simple to create, and you may never go back to the store-bought version. Flaky pastry made with real butter, generous amounts of your favorite type of ham, and a custom combination of quality cheeses, plus the satisfaction that comes with baking your kids' favorite treats from scratch, all make homemade hot pockets superior to their processed counterparts. A simplified pastry-making technique using a food processor makes the recipe surprisingly straightforward.

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup ice-cold water
  • 12 ounces sliced ham
  • 8 ounces grated or sliced cheese/cheeses
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions:

Make the pastry:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add the flour, salt and cold, cubed butter. Use a fork to poke the individual butter cubes into the flour, which prevents them from clumping together.
  2. Pulse the food processor approximately 10 to 15 times. Stop pulsing as soon as the flour and butter mixture resemble damp sand.
  3. Continue to pulse while adding the ice-cold water a few tablespoons at a time. Do not over-mix. The dough will not come together in a ball, and it will remain somewhat sandy in appearance.
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead it very briefly with your hands, just enough to bring it together into a smooth ball. 
  5. Cut the dough ball in half. Flatten each ball with the heel of your hand, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the flattened dough balls for at least 30 minutes.

Make the turnovers:

  1. Heat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Remove the plastic wrap from one dough ball. Working on a floured surface with a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll the dough into a large rectangle approximately 1/4-inch thick.
  3. Cut the dough into three or four rectangular pieces, depending on the size you want your turnovers to be.
  4. Arrange slices of ham onto one half of each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around the edge of the ham.
  5. Top the ham with sliced or grated cheese. Brush beaten egg around the margin.
  6. Fold the opposite side of each pastry rectangle over the side with the ham and cheese, matching the edges to form a pocket. Press the edges down with your fingers to seal them, then again with a fork to create a decorative edge.
  7. With a sharp knife, cut three slits approximately 2 inches long across the top of each turnover.
  8. Brush the tops of the turnovers with beaten egg.
  9. Transfer the turnovers to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake them for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
  10. Repeat the process with the second dough ball to make a second batch of turnovers.