Originally I was going to write a post about a meal we had a few days ago, but everything quickly changed when I saw these pumpkin hand pies in a Woman’s Day magazine. What is a hand pie you ask?....... Hand pies are individual small pies that you can hold in your hand and not use a fork. Pretty cool, right? Next thing I knew I was running around looking for the perfect sized pumpkin cookie cutter. I love it when I am excited about a recipe.
I am not a big baker but I am becoming more and more comfortable with pies and breads. As I read through the recipe; white vinegar was one of the ingredients with no explanation why. After checking a few sites on google I found that vinegar helps tenderize pie dough because it inhibits gluten development, leading to a crust that is flakier and easier to work with.
Everything came together as recipe indicated, except I had tons of filling left over. Not sure why. The crust was light and crispy and the filling was full of flavor and had a slight tang from the cream cheese. Next time I will make apple hand pies in the shape of apples.
This recipe has been slightly adapted from Woman's Day Magazine
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tsp plus ¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups unsalted butter (3 sticks)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons ice-cold water
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounce cream cheese, (cut into pieces)
2 large egg yolks (beaten)
1 beaten egg (for brushing)
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse in the butter until the the mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Add vinegar and cold water, pulsing until the dough is crumbly. Shape the dough into 3 1- inch disks, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least an hour, or up to two days.
Preheat oven to 375° degrees.
Using one disk at a time (you want to keep the rest chilled until you need them). On a lightly floured surface roll each disk into 1/8 inch thick. Cut out twenty-eight inch pumpkin shapes transferring them to the refrigerator as you work. Cut 3 vertical cuts on half of the cut-outs. (look at top photo)(this will be the top piece). Place the 7 bottoms on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or siltpat. Add 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture in the middle of each one leaving a ½ inch border around the edges. Next lightly brush the border with the beaten egg. Place the top gently on top matching the stems. (some tops you might have to turn over). Press the edges with a fork to seal and brush the tops with the egg wash.
Bake until golden brown 23 to 27 minutes. Makes approx. 12 to 14 pies.