Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin hand pies. They're pumpkin, they're mini, and they're jack-o-lantern themed!
What is it about mini things that make them so darn cute? Whether it's their size, their portability, their personality, or something else, things in miniature form are usually even cuter than normal. Take for instance, these mini hand pies. Or these apple hand pies I made for Valentine's Day. Or babies (mini people), puppies, cupcakes (totally mini cakes), mini candy bars (because you can eat more), mini pumpkins (so cute, right?), and the list goes on. I'm not the only one who loves things in mini-form, am I? Do you have any loves for things mini?
So back to the big idea. The mini idea. These pies. They're mini, portable, and oh so cute. Pumpkin pie wrapped in a portable pie crust and decorated like a jack-o-lantern. I got the inspiration for these from Flour Arrangements. She had the genius idea to make some savory pies that look like jack-o-lanterns, and I decided to try it with pumpkin pie.
Normally, pumpkin pies don't have a double crust. They just have one crust and are not covered on top. So in order to make them mini hand pies (without using small pie pans) they needed to be enclosed in a double crust.
Another issue, is that pumpkin pie is liquidy. Sure, it's no problem to make mini apple pies because the filling is scoop-able and won't run. But if you try to scoop pumpkin pie filling out and tell it to stay, you won't have as much luck. So the pumpkin pie filling is thickened with some flour. It's still liquidy, but it's thick enough to stay put.
These are so easy and fun to make. You can get really creative and each one turns out different. There are so many possibilities of creations to be made with these.
I didn't use any special tools to make the cut outs, just a sharp knife. I made the stems from the pie crust scraps that were left over and attached them to the bottom crust before putting the filling on it. The top crusts get their cut outs before applying them to the rest of the pie, so you don't squish out the filling when cutting out the features of the jack-o-lanterns. Once you've assembled them, they are baked on a lined cookie sheet-no fancy pans necessary to make these. Easy as pie, my friends!
Pumpkin Hand Pie Recipe:
makes 6-8 mini pies
For the crust:
2 cups flour
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed and very cold
1/2 cup ice water
For the filling:
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. sour cream
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 T. heavy cream
2 T. flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. cloves
For crust: Mix flour, sugar, and salt together. Cut cold butter into the flour mixture until butter chunks are the size of peas. Slowly add ice water while mixing until the dough resembles coarse meal. Turn out onto floured surface and shape into a disk. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
For filling: Combine all filling ingredients and mix until there are no clumps left.
To assemble: Roll out pie dough on a floured surface. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness or less. (The crust to filling ratio will be high at 1/4 inch thickness.). Use a cookie cutter to cut out pairs circles. (I used 4 in. cutters) Using a sharp knife or other tools, cut out jack-o-lantern faces from half of the circles. The other halves will be the bottom crusts. Using pie scraps form and attach pumpkin stems to the bottom crusts.
Take filling and spoon about 2 Tablespoons into the middle of the bottom crusts. (amount will vary depending on the size of your circles). Dip your fingertip in water and run it around the edge of the crust that has the filling on it. This will act as glue to adhere the top crust to it.
Take the top crust, with its face already cut out, and gently place it over the filling crust. Gently apply pressure to the edges to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges and further seal them.
Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and coat with egg wash (egg + 1 T. milk), and sprinkle in sugar. Bake at 400 F, for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool for 15 minutes, and enjoy!