Don't just serve your family and friends boring pumpkin hand pies! Charm them first with their looks, and then dazzle them with their taste!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making pumpkin hand pies is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredient list:
- pie crust (see ingredient list below for homemade) or store-bought
- canned pumpkin purée
- brown sugar
- ground cinnamon
- ground ginger
- ground allspice
- ground nutmeg
- pure vanilla extract
- cream cheese
- 2 egg yolks and 1 egg
Ingredients for making homemade pie dough:
- cold, cubed butter
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- kosher salt
- apple cider vinegar
- ice-cold water
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- medium saucepan
- rolling pin
- rolling mat (optional)
- food processor (optional, for making homemade crust)
- wooden spoon
- 2 small bowls
- 1 large bowl
- paring knife
- baking sheets
- parchment paper
- gel food colors (orange and green)
- pastry brush
- tiny glass pinch bowls
- paint brushes (food only)
How this recipe came to be:
Cooking and baking during the holiday season are where I feel I can really let my creative side take off.
It's the time when I'm the most excited about being a food blogger.
These simple yet charming embellished pumpkin hand pies are a good example of how just a little extra touch can do so much to elevate the charm and presentation of an otherwise nondescript hand pie.
Are the pumpkin embelishments for these hand pies hard to make?
They may look like they took a lot of extra time to make and add, but they only took a matter of minutes, and just a drop or two of food color.
Trust me when I tell you that anyone can do it, and be successful with it!
You have my word on it!
Homemade pie crust v.s. store-bought pie crust:
If making your own pie crust scares you (it scares me sometimes too), feel free to use the rolled-up, store-bought variety that you will find in your local grocery store's refrigerated section. I've used them often and they're always easy to work with, and delicious!
The only thing I suggest if you go the route of using store-bought pie crust is that you purchase two boxes of dough (giving you four pie rounds, two per box).
This will ensure you have enough dough to make at least eight 4½" x 2½" hand pies (sixteen rectangles total), along with enough dough scraps to make eight pumpkins, for 8 pumpkin hand pies.
Store-bought pie crust success stories:
If truth be told, I don't always make my own pie crust.
There have been MANY times where I've used the store-bought variety and came away with some pretty fantastic (and tasty) results.
Below are two examples of a few of my most popular posts in which I've used store-bought pie crust so I would never stick up my nose at anyone who uses it. Far from it!
ADORABLE TURKEY CRUST PUMPKIN PIE (shown below)
COLORFUL AUTUMN LEAVES APPLE PIE (shown below)
The step-by-step photo instructions for making pumpkin hand pies:
If making homemade pie crust, assemble the following list of ingredients and equipment:
- cold, cubed butter
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- kosher salt
- apple cider vinegar
- ice-cold water
- food processor
- measuring cups and spoons
- plastic wrap (for wrapping and chilling)
If using store-bought rolled pie dough, thaw in the refrigerator, if previously frozen.
To make homemade pie crust:
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, salt, and the cold, cubed butter.
- Pulse the processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, and ice water to the processor and process just until the mixture comes together into a loose ball.
- You know the dough is workable if you can squeeze a bit, and it holds together in your fingers.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter and gently divide it in half, forming each half into a disc.
- Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
To make the pumpkin hand pie filling:
- While the dough is chilling assemble the ingredients and equipment needed to make the filling.
- Add the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg to the saucepan.
- Heat the mixture over medium/low heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes. (The reason for doing this is to remove some of the excess moisture from the filling. If it's too wet it will make the pie crust soggy.)
- Remove the pumpkin pie filling to a large bowl and add 4 ounces of cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Stir well to combine the pumpkin pie filling with the cream cheese.
- Once the mixture has cooled slightly whisk in 2 large egg yolks (reserving the whites for another use).
- When the mixture is fully mixed, chill the filling in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, crack an egg into a small bowl along with 1 tablespoon water.
- Mix well, and divide the egg mixture into three smaller dishes.
- Leave one egg wash plain, without color. Add a few drops of each color (orange and green) into the remaining egg wash dishes and mix well to combine.
- Set aside.
- Once the dough has chilled for at least 30 minutes roll it out onto a lightly floured surface to approximately ¼" even thickness (although thinner is always better).
If using store-bought dough, start here:
- To make the cookie template, use the cardboard from the back of a pad of paper and measure it out a 4½" x 2½" rectangle along with a 2" round free-form pumpkin.
- Use a scissors to cut out the two templates.
- Use a paring knife to carefully cut out 16 rectangle shapes from both the chilled pie dough discs, making sure to re-roll the dough scraps as needed.
- Place the cut rectangles onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Place approximately 1½ tablespoons of the chilled pumpkin pie filling into the center of 8 rectangles.
- Use water and a paint brush (or a wet finger) to run a light trail of water around the outer edge of each of the 8 bottom pie crusts.
- Top each bottom-filled crust with a top crust, and press lightly around the edges to adhere the two pieces of dough together.
- Use the tines of a fork to press a decorative border around each hand pie.
- Set the pies aside.
- Roll out the remaining scraps of dough and use a paring knife and the pumpkin template to cut out 8 pumpkin shapes, making sure to score the rounded crescent lines lightly on each pumpkin.
- Paint a liberal coat of the colored egg wash onto each pumpkin, making sure to clean the paintbrush with water inbetween each color.
- Brush each hand pie with a light coating of the plain egg wash and then press one of the painted pumpkins onto the center of each hand pie.
- Use a paring knife to gently slit a few steam holes into the top of each pie, and bake them in a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
How easy was that?!!
So now that you know you can make these charmingly embellished homemade pumpkin hand pies with or without making homemade pie dough, there is really no reason not to make them.
Just do it!
Your family and friends will thank you!
Can these pumpkin hand pies be frozen after baking?
Wrap them individually in freezer paper, and then place them in a large freezer zip-top bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.
Additional pumpkin dessert recipes:
*Pilgrim Pumpkin Pie (shown below and featured in the video)
Let’s take a step back in time and visit with the pilgrims this Thanksgiving. Rustic pilgrim pumpkin pie is an authentic pie baked in a pumpkin. It’s as delightful to serve as it is to eat. It’s a rustic pilgrim pumpkin treat.
*Pumpkin Creme Brulée (not shown)
Super cute Pumpkin Creme Brulée custard is baked to perfection in a real pumpkin ramekin and topped with caramelized sugar shells. Delicious!!
*Pumpkin Cheesecake Tartlets (not shown)
Looking for something a little out of the ordinary for your Thanksgiving dessert? These delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake Tartlets have your back!
*Pumpkin Hand Pies (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's delicious pumpkin pie filled hand pies.
If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating on the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
Pumpkin Hand Pies
For the pie crust:
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour plus additional for rolling
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 sticks (24 tablespoons) cold butter cut into cubes
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
- OR 2 boxes store-bought rolled pie crust.
For the filling:
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin pie purée
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- orange gel food color
- green gel food color
To make the pie crust:
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse again until it forms coarse crumbs.
- Add the vinegar and ice water to the processor and process just until the mixture comes together into a loose ball. *Note - If you can squeeze a bit of dough in your hands and it holds together, you've got the proper consistency.
- Turn the dough on a work surface and gently work it into a loose ball.
- Divide the dough into two even-sized discs and wrap each disc in plastic wrap.
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. *Note - You can make the dough well in advance of when you're baking the pies and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to roll.
To make the filling:
- In a medium saucepan over medium/low heat, stir the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg occasionally for 5-7 minutes. This will evaporate some of the water, so the filling won't make the hand pies soggy.
- Transfer the pie filling to a large bowl and add the softened cream cheese to the pumpkin mixture. Stir to thoroughly incorporate the cream cheese with the pumpkin pie filling.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract to the bowl and stir well to combine.
- Refrigerate the pumpkin filling in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- To make the egg wash and colored egg wash:
- In a small bowl, stir the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon water.
- Divide the egg into three small bowls.
- Add a few drops of orange to one of the small bowls and a few drops of green to another of the small bowls. Mix well to combine. Leave the third egg wash plain with no color.
- Set the egg washes aside.
- To make the rectangular template and the pumpkin template:
- On a firm piece of cardboard (I used the cardboard on the back of a pad of paper), measure out a 3½" x 2½" rectangle, and free form draw a 2" pumpkin on the cardboard. Note - These DO NOT need to be perfect!!
- Cut the templates from the cardboard using scissors and set the templates aside until you're ready to cut the pie crust.
To form and fill the pumpkin hand pies:
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly.
- Working with each disc of dough at a time, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface until the dough is approximately an even ¼" thickness.
IF USING STORE-BOUGHT PIE CRUST, START HERE
- Lay the cardboard rectangle template on the pie dough and use a paring knife to carefully cut out 16 rectangles (you'll be using both dough discs for this and have to re-rolling the scraps for the full 16 rectangles).
- Place 8 rectangles onto one parchment-lined baking sheet and 8 rectangles onto a second parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Re-roll the leftover scraps, cut out 8 pumpkins using the pumpkin template, and set aside the pumpkin pie pieces.
- Remove the pumpkin filling from the fridge and place approximately 1½ tablespoons of pumpkin pie filling into the center of 8 rectangles.
- Use a light touch of water around the edge of each filled pie crust bottom and carefully add a top rectangle to the filled bottom crust, pressing the edges lightly to seal.
- Complete that same step to complete all 8 hand pies.
- Use a fork to firmly press the edges of the hand pies to seal and make a decorative border.
- Brush the plain egg wash scantly over the top of each hand pie.
- Use the colored egg wash and a clean paintbrush to generously paint the orange and green onto each pumpkin cut out, making sure to wash the brush with clean water between changing colors.
- Gently transfer one colored pumpkin onto the top of each hand pie, pressing lightly to adhere.
- Use the paring knife to gently slit two steam holes into the top of each hand pie.
- Bake the pumpkin hand pies in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until they are nicely golden brown.
- Remove to a wire rack and cool completely before serving.
pastry brush, orange gel food color, green gel food color, paring knife, rolling pin,
medium saucepan, whisk, wooden spoons, measuring cups and spoons, fork,
food processor (optional for making homemade pie dough), plastic wrap
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's seasonal pumpkin hand pie dessert as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!