Pumpkin Hand Pies

If you can’t get enough pumpkin pie, then you will love this twist on tradition. A hand pie as they are called here in the south or fried pie or pocket pie if you prefer, is easy to make.

The dough is simple, just like making an extra firm biscuit.  They don’t fall apart and yet they are flaky and tender.  When you use Southern Biscuit® All Purpose Flour, you have just the right combination of soft southern wheat with a touch of hard wheat that holds these pies together.  I wouldn’t use anything else to make this recipe, I am just not sure it will work.

The filling is simple when using canned pumpkin.  However, if you have leftover pumpkin roasted for a pie, this is a perfect use for it.

You might consider using leftover sweet potatoes, that half bag of chocolate chips left from another recipe, or other leftovers from the holiday meal to fill these as well.  The dough can go with sweet or savory foods so use this recipe to create your own fillings.

 Biscuit Dough

2 cups Southern Biscuit® All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

¾ cup milk, plus additional for brushing

Vegetable oil

Filling

2 cups (16 ounces) pureed pumpkin

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cinnamon Sugar

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Prepare filling:

Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg using a wire whisk.  Set aside.

Prepare biscuit dough:

Combine flour, baking powder and salt using a wire whisk.  Cut in shortening until the pieces are slightly smaller than pea size.

Add the milk and combine. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough by pressing dough to flatten and then folding the dough.  Turn and repeat about 8 times or until the dough is smooth and not sticky.  It will feel more firm than biscuit dough.

Roll the dough to ½-inch thickness and cut using a 2-inch biscuit cutter.  Roll each “biscuit” into a thin round that is about 5 inches.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of the dough.  Brush around the edges with the additional milk. Fold in half and press firmly to seal.  Use the tines of a fork (a very small fork works best) to seal and then turn.  Seal the other side with the tines of the fork.  Press lightly to distribute filling throughout pocket.

In a heavy large skillet with deep sides, pour in about ¼-inch of vegetable oil.  Heat over medium heat to 365 degrees.  Gently add the pies, only 3 at a time to allow plenty of space between each to cook. (The oil should come about half way up the pies.) Cook for 3 minutes, turn and cook for 3 minutes or until both sides are golden brown.  Remove from the pan, drain on a rack or paper towels.

If desired sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar.  Allow at least 10 minutes before eating, they will be hot!

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