I'm having a big creative stream of conscious day. One thought lead to another and these delicious hand pies were born. I can’t stay and chat for long though, I have several other ideas I want to get started on before Halloween!
You’re going to have about two cups of leftover filling. Make more pies if you wish, bake it into a tart, use it as a dip for cookies, or spread it on buttered toast. I’m going to try it on a pizza with brie, walnuts, dates, and honey this evening. I’ll write that down too if it goes well.
The pumpkin stencil cookie cutter comes in a holiday set made by Progressive.
1 package pie dough for a double crust
1 1/3 cups roasted or canned pumpkin puree
5 large whole fresh Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup regular cream cheese, softened and slightly warm (fat free will not work)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten together for egg wash
Raw sugar for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor puree the dates and granulated sugar together until mainly smooth.
3. Add the dark brown sugar, salt, cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and vanilla extract and puree until smooth. Scrap down the sides as needed. Set aside.
4. Gently roll out the pie dough just until smooth between two pieces of wax paper. Make 7 cuts with the pumpkin cutter outline very close together going around the pie dough in a circle, and then an 8th cut right in the middle. Take the stencil part of the cutter, and press faces into 4 pumpkins. Repeat with second dough.
5. Place the pumpkins without faces on the cookie sheet. Brush the edges lightly with egg wash. Take 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of filling and spread it around the pumpkin leaving the edges clear. Too much filling will ooze out so be careful here.
6. Press the faces gently on top of the puree and seal the edges with your fingers. Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a little raw sugar.
7. Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack. Serve warm or cold.
Makes 8 hand pies
Recipe and picture by Laura Flowers