14 November, 2018
Pumpkin Pasties (Hand Pies)
I’ve been going through the Harry Potter book series lately, and, on several occasions, pasties are mentioned. I had no idea what a pasty was, so I looked it up one day, after hearing about pumpkin pasties for the second or third time. They’re hand pies, which I had heard of before, but which I had not eaten since I was a kid (and, to be honest, the hand pies I had were full of the most sickeningly-sweet, nostalgia-inducing goop known to man — nothing like these). The more I thought about it, I realized I had enjoyed them more recently than that. At a living museum town about a year ago, Hubby and I went into the bakery and got a couple of beef hand pies, and meat pasties were also something that Rowling had mentioned in her books.
The fantasy series had gotten me thinking about a good way to emulate butterbeer, but, not knowing anything about brewing, I had decided it would have to be a task for a later date when I had more space to set up a still. Once that resignation had passed, I had given up on the idea of making something from the wizarding world… Until pasties piqued my interest.
As it turns out, hand pies are some of the easiest treats to make, being just crust and filling. If you use a store-bought crust, it’s even easier. Next, I think I’ll have to experiment with some savory pies, probably starting with an attempt at recreating the beef and potato hand pies Hubby and I had that day at the museum (though those were much larger than the ones we’ll be making today).
2 Eggs, beaten
2 cups Pumpkin puree
1/2 cup Brown sugar, packed
2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
4 Pie crusts
1 Egg, beaten
Cinnamon & sugar, in equal parts (2 tsp each should be enough for this recipe, but I keep a shaker on hand because I like it on buttered toast)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking pans with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with baking grease and set them aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk two eggs before adding in the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix it all together and set it aside (or in the fridge if you plan on making your own crust). On a clean workspace, spread out your pie crusts one at a time and, using a clean jar lid, cut out circles and set them aside, re-rolling the scraps of dough and cutting out more circles until you can cut no more. Take each circle of dough and spread it out slightly, so your circle is about two inches across. Drop a dollop of the pumpkin filling into the center of the circle, leaving about 1/3 of an inch around the edges. Fold the circle in half and crimp the edges with a fork. If filling comes out the sides, fill the next one with a bit less. If you have a lot of room within, add a bit more.
Once the pies are sealed and placed on the baking tray, beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and brush each pie with it before sprinkling cinnamon & sugar over the top. If you’d like, you can pierce the top of the pie. If you forget (like I did after the first tray), it’s not the end of the world. Pumpkin pie filling doesn’t contain too much liquid, so there isn’t a whole lot of leakage during the baking process.
The most efficient way to bake these is to keep a rotation going with the baking pans. Fill one up with pasties, pop it in the oven for 15 minutes, and while you’re waiting for that sheet to bake, fill up the second baking sheet and then swap them out. Let the pasties cool for a few minutes before moving them from the baking sheet to either a serving plate or a sealable storage container.