These Pumpkin Hand Pies are great for serving as breakfast or dessert in the fall. Not only are they Halloween-themed, but they are filled with the tastiest pumpkin pie filling. These holiday-themed hand pies are sure to become a family favorite!
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Pumpkin Hand Pies
I have to admit I've had more than my fair share of those silvery packaged (ok, I have to admit DRY) crumbly pastry tarts in my day; I would scarf them down for breakfast, a snack, even dinner. Since my boxed pop tart days, however, I've found satisfaction in making everything from scratch. And with Halloween right around the corner, it seemed only natural that I should make a spooky (read: adorably spooky) homemade version of the classic breakfast treat. Introducing: Pumpkin Hand Pies.
I partnered with my friends over at LACTAID® to bring you guys these cute little hand pies. The pastry is simply a traditional pie crust, however, I used LACTAID® Whole Milk in the pumpkin pie filling. LACTAID® is 100% real milk, just without the lactose. This means that using this milk in baking still yields the same moist and creamy results; and it allows anyone who suffers from lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivity to enjoy their favorite foods. Talk about a serious win-win! You can find LACTAID® Whole Milk at most retailers, however, here's a nifty little store locator tool!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Hand Pies
These hand pies don't require any special ingredients, and you'll likely have most of what you need in your pantry already. Here's what you'll need to make these festive Pumpkin Hand Pies:
- Butter– I prefer using unsalted butter in my baked goods, but salted is just fine, too… you’ll just want to omit the salt called for in the pie dough.
- All-purpose Flour– The best choice for making pie crust.
- Ice water– Gotta make sure we keep the pie dough as cold as possible!
- Pumpkin– Make sure it’s pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
- Light Brown Sugar– The color, moisture, and flavor you get from the molasses in brown sugar can’t be beaten.
- Egg– The egg acts as our binder, helping the delicious filling to set.
- Cinnamon + Ginger + Nutmeg + Cloves– Our warm flavors for these pumpkin hand pies; feel free to use 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead.
- LACTAID® Whole Milk– This helps give the pumpkin pie filling the most perfect texture!
- Cornstarch– To help thicken up the pumpkin pie filling while baking.
- Cinnamon Sugar– Right before baking, you'll give the hand pies a little egg wash and a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.
Pumpkin Hand Pies Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
Can I use a different flavor filling in these hand pies?
Technically, yes! You could replace it with jam, preserves, or any spread of your choice... just be careful of how runny your filling is and how much you use. You may find it difficult to decorate other types of fillings as mummies without the filling seeping out everywhere, in which case I would recommend cutting the second half of the pastry rectangle (step 3) into 3"x4" rectangles instead of strips.
Can I make the dough with a food processor?
Yup! The hand pie dough is essentially a pie crust recipe, meaning if you don't want to use your fingers, a pastry cutter, or the back of a fork to combine the butter and flour mixture, you can just as easily toss it in a food processor. I simply prefer making it by hand because it's easier to control the size of the butter pieces, and therefore how flaky the pastry is.
Can I use store-bought pie crust?
Absolutely; if making pie crust from scratch frightens you then, by all means, go for it! It will certainly cut down on the prep time and the ingredients, but I gotta be honest... nothing beats a homemade pie crust.
They say a sign of maturity is being able to delay pleasure for a greater result (or at least that’s what Google told me). So clearly a sign of maturity is being able to put down that little cellophane package, bust out your rolling pin, and whip up some homemade pumpkin hand pies. So let’s recap: maturity = making homemade hand pies. Man, if only my 18-year-old self could see me now…
Pumpkin Hand Pies
For the Pie Dough:
- 310 g all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 230 g unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 120 g ice water or more as needed
For the Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- 115 g pumpkin puree
- 55 g light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 large egg
- 45 g LACTAID® Whole Milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon LACTAID®Milk
- cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
- candy eyes for decorating
To Make the Pie Dough:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt to combine. Add the butter, tossing the cubes in the flour to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is about the size of peas.
- Make a well in the center and add the water a few tablespoons at a time, and mix just until the dough comes together. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time until you have a dough that holds together well but isn’t wet or sticky.
- Shape the dough into a rectangle, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle, fold it in thirds like a letter, then roll again and repeat the folding once more. Shape the dough back into a rectangle, rewrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 additional hour before using (or up to 2 days).
To Make the Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- In a medium bowl, add the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, egg, LACTAID® Milk, and cornstarch, and whisk until well combined. Cover the bowl and chill until ready to fill the hand pies.
- Assemble the hand pies: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle (around 15”x16”). Cut the dough in half and return half of it covered to the fridge. Using a ruler and a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into 3”x4” rectangles; you should get 8 rectangles. Place the cut rectangles carefully onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to help firm the pastry slightly.
- While the rectangles are chilling, cut the remaining half of the rolled pastry into even 1/4-inch strips about 7 inches long; these will be your mummy bandages.
- Remove the pastry rectangles from the fridge. Lightly brush the edges of one piece of pastry with egg wash, then add a dollop of pumpkin pie filling, smoothing to flatten. Place the cut strips over the filling in alternating angles to create the mummy look, leaving an opening where the eyes will eventually be. Cut off any excess dough from the strips and use a fork to gently press down the strips to seal them. Repeat until all of the hand pies are assembled. Watch my video for tips!
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes, or until the dough is firm. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Remove the hand pies from the freezer, lightly brush the edges and strips with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the hand pies are light golden brown on the tops and bottoms. Remove from the oven and carefully stick candy eyes on. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
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