Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Spiced Pear Hand Pies
I was out shopping recently, minding my own business, not really looking for anything in particular, when I saw a big 4 1/2" copper pear shaped cookie cutter. I had to have it. It's possible I may have had a need for an apple shaped one, too. And now I had to do something with it.
Of course, if you don't have a pear shaped cutter...you should go get one immediately. Um, OK, I guess you could just make these round, too. It's just not as much fun. Enjoy!
1 Cup all purpose flour
1 Stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1" pieces
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 Cup ice water
2 Firm pears
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 Teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cream for brushing on top
To make the crust, combine the butter, flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor with a steel blade and pulse just until it resembles course crumbs. With the machine running, slowly pour in the ice water just until a dough ball forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
When the dough has chilled, roll it out on a well floured surface until it's about a 10" circle (doesn't have to be exact). Using whatever cutter you have, cut out as many as you can and then re-roll the scraps to use up all the dough. You should, ideally end up with an equal number of shapes.
Peel and dice the pears, place them in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the flour and drain off any excess liquid. Place about a tablespoon of the filling into half the shaped dough pieces and top with the remaining dough pieces. Using a fork, crimp the edges so that the filling doesn't run out and cut a small slit into each for steam to escape. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush with the cream and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until the pies are a light golden brown. The number of pies you get will depend on your size cutter but my 4 1/2" cutter got me 12 cut outs for a total of 6 hand pies.