I am freaking PUMPED about this recipe. Halloween is my favorite and these jack-o-lantern hand pies are so damn cute! Not only do I love Halloween, but thanks to Michelle from Hummingbird High and GIR (they’re getting ready to launch their line of silicone pastry brushes and they are AWESOME), pie making just got easier.
Michelle is prepping for the release of her first cookbook (woo michelle!), Weeknight Baking, and in it is a pie crust that can be made in the STAND MIXER. LIKE COOKIE DOUGH. Seriously, I have tried just about every method for getting a nice pie crust. I have tried it by hand, with a pastry blender, smushing the butter into the flour with your fingers, with a food processor. It becomes such a pain in the ass that I rarely ever end up making pie. But no more! This pie dough was delicious and flaky with just about zero effort and even easier clean up (let’s be real, that’s the real gripe).
But also, HOW CUTE ARE THESE FREAKING LITTLE PIES?! My husband and I had a hilarious time trying to cut the faces out cleanly, but it was a fun experience baking together! If you’ve got kids, this is such a fun weekend project leading up Halloween. My recommendation: chill the pumpkin cut outs thoroughly before trying to cut the faces out. You can absolutely use store bought pie crust to simplify the process, but I swear this pie dough from Michelle is going to be your new go-to.
I made a bourbon apple filling (don’t worry, the alcohol cooks out) and a roasted blackberry filling, which both felt perfectly seasonal to me but feel free to use your favorite filling! Happy almost Halloween!
These cute little hand pies are the perfect little dessert for your Halloween party!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
You can absolutely substitute store bought pie dough!