Pumpkin Pecan Hand Pies
“These taste like Autumn.” were the exact words my son said after taking a bite of these Pumpkin Pecan hand pies. That sentence alone sent me to the moon. Yes! I thought, I did it! I distilled all the nostalgia and sentiment of my favorite season into one hand held delight!
However, I cannot take full credit for this idea, It popped into my head on one of many of my Target runs. Has anyone been to Target recently? It’s like Pumpkin spice exploded in that store and it’s infected almost every product in there! From coffee, to cookies to cereal. There really is pumpkin spice everything… including Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts! Whoa, I had to have them. But they only sold them in the largest box imaginable and I really only wanted 2 or 3…. So instead of buying them, why not try to make them myself?
I started with a half lard, half butter pie crust. I find that lard crusts are the best at flakiness and well, butter is butter, nothing else tastes better! So by combining the two fats, it creates the best pie crust! I rolled out the pie dough and cut them into rectangles. I’m honestly not the best at measuring, so I did my best to make them even, didn’t really work, but they still taste good! Then comes the filling.
I combined canned pumpkin with sugar, pumpkin pie spice, extra nutmeg, buttermilk and an egg yolk for creaminess. This smooth mixture got spooned onto one half of the pie crusts and topped with chopped pecans. I painted the edges of the crust with egg wash to help seal everything in, the placed the other half of the rectangles and sealed them with a fork and cut slits to allow the steam to escape. These got baked for 25- 30 minutes. Once out of the oven I placed the mini pies on a wire rack to cool.
Waiting for them to cook is probably the hardest part. Once cooled I spooned over the glaze and topped with festive fall sprinkles. These hand pies combine the nostalgia of a pop tart with the fun of fall flavors. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pecan Hand Pies
Yields: 9 pies
For the Crust:
For the Crust:
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Lard
1/2 Cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 Whole Egg
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
5 Tbsp Ice Water
For the Filling
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
For the icing:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4-5 tbsp tablespoons heavy cream or milk
festive sprinkles (optional)
Make the crust: Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter cut the butter and lard into the flour mixture just until coarse crumbs form. Large crumbs are good In a separate bowl mix together the egg, apple cider and ice water. Pour this into the flour mixture and mix to combine. Add additional ice water 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough isn’t coming together. You will know you have enough water when you can squeeze the mixture and it holds together. Shape the dough into equal size discs and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the discs for at least 2 hours.
Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the disc into a 9x12 inch rectangle that is 1/8 of an inch thick. Trim the edges to make them straight and neat. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into 3 equal size strips. Cut each strip into thirds. You should have 9 small rectangles. Arrange the rectangles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator and repeat the process with the second disc.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice together in a small bowl. Set aside. Working with one baking sheet of pastry at a time, divide filling evenly among the 9 rectangles; placing it in the center of each pastry. Top with chopped pecans.
Whisk the egg and milk together in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash on the outer edges of the pastry around the filling. Remove the second set of rectangles from the refrigerator and brush the entire surface with egg wash. Place each rectangle over the filling with the egg wash side down. Press firmly with around the pocket of filling to seal the dough all the way around. Brush the tops of each pastry lightly with egg wash.
Cut small slits in the top of each pastry to allow steam to escape during cooking. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Cool the hand pies for on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
Make the icing: In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until the icing is smooth and free of lumps. The icing should be a spreadable consistency. Add a teaspoon or more heavy cream if needed. Use a spoon to spread the icing over the cooled hand pies. Enjoy right away or let them sit for an hour to harden the icing