Are you ready for Halloween? I’m especially excited about the holiday this year, because for the first time since I moved to Italy (13 years ago), I’m in Texas for Halloween! It will be my children’s first Halloween in the USA and I can’t wait to take them trick-or-treating with their American cousins like I used to do when I was a kid.
I wasted no time getting into the spirit, and made these adorable Halloween treats on my first day here. They taste like miniature pumpkin pies, look like silly jack o’lanterns and aren’t as difficult to make as they might appear.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram over the next couple weeks for a taste of my Texan vacation and a real American Halloween!
Pumpkin hand pies
FOR THE PIE CRUST
- 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 12 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 to 6 tbsp. ice water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
FOR THE PIE FILLING
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
- 3 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. water
Make pie crust: Add flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse in ten second bursts until mixture resembles wet sand with pea-size pieces, then drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water, vinegar, and pulse in 3 second bursts 4 to 5 times. Add more ice water until mixture starts to form around blade. Dump out pie crust and shape into 4″ disks; wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 45 minutes.
Make filling: Combine brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, egg yolk, pumpkin, and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
Assemble: Working with one disk at a time, roll out pie crust to 1/8″ thickness and stamp out pumpkin shapes. Transfer half the pumpkins to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and carve out desired faces on the other half.
Brush edges of uncarved pumpkin faces with water, then spread 1 to 2 tablespoons filling in the center. Place carved pumpkin on top and press to seal edges with a fork. Transfer hand pies to freezer, 1 hour.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°. Make egg wash by whisking egg with water, then brush hand pies with wash and bake until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.