I'm not gonna lie, these hand pies are good. Like, really good. Get them out of the house right now, good.
In general, hand pies are a serious weakness for me - I think it's probably the 2 to 1 crust to filling ratio. With regular pies, my favorite part is the crust that soaks up the yummy fruit filling, and with hand pies, there's double the fruit-soaked crust per bite... clearly, that makes me a happy camper!
Anyway with this particular recipe, I combined ripe, juicy pear, a healthy dose of vanilla, and lots of fragrant spices - cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon to be exact - into an all butter crust. All the flavors combine beautifully, resulting in a slightly sweet and spicy treat.
- 2 large ripe pears (thinly sliced & cut into 1" long pieces)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 egg
- all-butter pie dough for a 9" crust (I used this recipe)
1) Chill pie dough for at least 1 hour before making the pies.
2) In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and spices
3) In a larger bowl, mix the sliced pears with the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add in the flour, sugar and spices mixture and stir until combined.
4) Roll out the chilled pie dough to a 1/8" thickness. Cut out circles approximately 5"-6" in diameter (I used a small bowl with a 5.5" diameter to cut out the circles). At this point, you may have to chill the dough circles (it was pretty warm in my house, so the dough was getting very soft, so I placed the dough circles on a baking sheet and stuck them in the freezer for 5 minutes before adding the filling.)
*Note: You might notice in the above photos that the crust has small chunks of butter in it - this is a good thing! The pieces of butter create small pockets of air when the crust is baking, resulting in flaky crust.
5) Fill the center of the dough circles with 2-3 tablespoons of the pear filling
6) In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water. Brush egg wash on the edges of the dough circles, fold in half, and crimp the edges with a fork.
7) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and chill the hand pies for at least 1/2 hour before baking.
8) Remove the pies from the refrigerator and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and cut a small slit in the top of the pies to let out steam (I forgot this step, so my hand pies oozed at the seams a bit - oops!)
9) Bake for about 20 minutes, or until hand pies are golden brown and flaky. Cool to room temperature and enjoy!!