Pear Hand Pies

Today I’m interrupting the matcha cake posts with this seasonal post about a fall pie. Rectangular pear hand pies, to be specific. And the pie story goes like this:

Last week I came home to a 1/2 peck of pears. I am very lucky to have a husband that not only helps with the grocery shopping, but loves buying fresh produce. (Thank you Baba and Mama for raising him so well!) This time we had an overabundance of produce, and something had to be done with the pears.

Some kind of pear compote was the only thing on my mind, so that’s what I made.

Now that we’re well into fall, pie was a very fitting choice of container for the pear filling. As for my choice of making hand pies over traditional pie, it just felt right. Hand pies are typically made from circular cutouts of dough folded over, but since my feelings were largely guiding this recipe, I went with rectangles.

It is really something to enjoy a warm pear pie (in any form) on a brisk fall day like today. Now my mind is racing with all sorts of hand pie fillings. And I’m curious what y’all think, what would you put (or like to eat) in a hand pie?

Pear Hand Pies

1/4 cup flour for dusting
Pate Brisee (recipe below)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 pounds fresh pears, peeled, cored, and cubed
2/3 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large pot or dutch oven, melt butter and brown sugar. Once melted, add in pears, salt and lemon juice.
3. Let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool for another 30 minutes.
4. Bring pate brisee to room temperature, and on a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut dough into rectangles measuring 4″ x 8″. Dough recipe should make about 12 rectangles of this size.
5. Place couple spoonfuls of pear filling onto lower half of each rectangle.
6. Fold top half of rectangle over pear filling, and press sides to seal the pie.
7. Carefully place pies on Silpat-lined baking sheet and pop in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
8. Use a fork to imprint marks all around sealed edges of pie dough. Cut a few slits across the folded part of the pie for vents. Sprinkle pies with granulated sugar.
9. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden, making sure not to burn the edges.
10. Let cool slightly before serving.

Pate Brisee (Pie Dough)
from Martha Stewart

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

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