Jack-O-Lantern Hand Pies

Posted by GIR: Get It Right on

Get into the Halloween spirit with these creepy-cute hand pies from our friend (and stellar recipe contributor) Jenny from So Much Food! The buttery, flaky pie dough comes together in a cinch thanks to the genius use of a food processor, and is from Michelle of Hummingbird High's first cookbook, Weeknight Baking. In between the pie crusts are two filling options to choose from - a roasted blackberry filling that gets rounded out with a splash of vanilla extract, or a cinnamon apple (from apple picking with the kiddos!) spiked with bourbon. Or go wild, and make it half and half of each! A quick egg wash gets brushed on, and a sprinkling of turbinado sugar gives a bit of added crunch and finishes on a sweet note. 

Baking with kids? They can help by measuring ingredients, adding them in, stirring, brushing the egg wash, sprinkling sugar, or scooping the filling onto the pie crust (our line of mini tools are perfectly sized!). Using a 4" pumpkin cutter will yield 12 mini hand pies, and the larger option with additional cutters for the pies and mouth makes it fun for the kids to 'carve a pumpkin'. 

RECIPE STATS

Prep Time = 40 minutes
Cook Time = 30 minutes
Yield = 12 mini hand pies

INGREDIENTS

Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks (8oz) unsalted butter, diced and very cold
6-9 tablespoons ice water
1 egg, for egg wash
1/4 cup raw or turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Bourbon Apple Filling
2 large honey crisp apples, peeled and diced small
3 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

Roasted Blackberry Filling
18 oz fresh blackberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

TOOLS

GIR Scraper
GIR Mini Spoon
GIR Mini Whisk
GIR Mini Spoonula
GIR Ultimate Spatula
GIR Ultimate Basting Brush → Pre-order here!
4" Pumpkin Cookie Cutter
5" Jack O Lantern Cookie Cutter Set*
* This cutter is larger so you'll have less pies, and may need to add a minute or two to the baking time for it to get dark golden brown.

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make the crust: Place the diced butter in the freezer while you prep your other ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix on low for 15 seconds. Add the cold butter all at once and beat on low until the mixture resembles coarse sand with pea-sized pieces of butter. With the mixer on low, add 6 tablespoons of liquid from the ice water mixture. Beat on low for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough clumps around the paddle and/or the sides of the bowl. If the dough seems too dry, add more liquid from the ice water mixture 1 teaspoon at a time. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured counter with the spatula. Quickly knead the dough into a rough ball. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a rough ball. Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and flatten into a small disc. Refrigerate at least one hour, up to overnight.
  2. To make the apple filling: Heat butter in a stainless steel saute pan until just barely golden brown. Add the apples and cook for 2 minutes. Add the bourbon and cook for another minute. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and sugar and toss to combine. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until liquid is reduced to syrup consistency. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. To make blackberry filling: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the blackberries on the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Transfer blackberries to a stainless steel pot with sugar and vanilla. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, until thick. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Prep the pie dough: Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll the dough out to 1/8th inch thick. Using a 4" pumpkin cookie cutter, cut as many pieces out as possible. Place the pumpkin pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut out jack-o-lantern faces on half of the pumpkin cutouts.
  5. To assemble: Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly beat an egg in a small bowl. Place the pumpkin cutouts with no faces on the tray. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of either filling in the center. Brush the edges around the filling with the egg. Place a pumpkin cut out with a face on top and line up the edges. Using a fork, press the edges together, sealing in the filling. Brush the top of the hand pie with egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if desired. Repeat with remaining hand pies. Bake for 25 minutes, until dark golden brown. Cool on a baking rack.

Notes

Store bought crust can be used in place of homemade.
Pie dough and fillings can be made the night before, and assembled the next day.
Any leftover fillings makes for a perfect topping on ice cream, waffles, or pancakes!

Recipe contributed by Jenny Goycochea-Marker


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