Queue the spooky soundtrack—it’s that time of year again!
I love pumpkin pie—proof here. I know, I know, it’s more of a Thanksgiving thing than it is Halloween but I think it’s safe to say that, especially in recent years, it obviously fits just about any day of the season (I’m looking at you, Pumpkin Spice People). And while I can’t fully get behind putting pumpkin spice on everything—I mean, please tell me pumpkin spice gum or Kool Aid don’t actually exist—I am totally all for a good pumpkin pie.
But since this is Halloween after all (and by that I mean that the entire month of October is Halloween… we can all agree to that, right?) this needs to be just a bit more festive and, dare I say, spoopy? I used this awesome cutter set I got from Amazon and it not only has a perfectly sized cutter for the pies themselves, but it also comes with assorted eyes and a mouth for making the most GD cute Jack-O-Lantern. You can get yours here.
Much like my Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake, you need to purge the pumpkin of the excess water, and there’s quite a bit (almost half the weight of the pumpkin itself is water). It gives you a velvety texture that isn’t too wet, which would threaten the crust of the pies. Lay three layers of paper towel on a sheet tray, spread the pumpkin across the towel, cover it with more paper towel and gently set another sheet tray over top. The paper towel will pull the water out and leave you with this dense, flavorful pumpkin puree.
Mix it up with some egg yolks, sugar, and the aforementioned pumpkin-spice and the filling is all set. Speaking of the pumpkin spice, don’t use a store bought pre-mixed thing if you can help it. All it is really is cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground cardamom—all things you probably have on hand with the exception, maybe, of the cardamom and trust me when I say it’s a worthy addition to your spice rack. This way you can not only customize your PSL to your specific tastes, but you can also use the individual spices on their own in a variety of recipes (a little cardamom in some rice pilaf, black tea, coffee… incredible).
More Halloween recipes are on the way. Follow me on BLOGLOVIN’ so you don’t miss any. It’s okay… It isn’t creepy.
Cube the butter and shortening, move the little fat cubes to a plate and stash in the freezer for at least 1 hour to chill.
Start by making the crust: Put the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate and aerate the flour a bit. Drop in the butter and shortening, and pulse about 10 times, until the mix resembles wet sand and most of the butter is cut down to the size of peas (though don’t worry if some pieces are larger). Mix the water and vinegar in a small liquid measuring cup and, with the processor running now, pour in the water. You want it to be just moist enough to hold together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, form it into a ball, roll into a disc, and cover tightly with plastic wrap before stashing in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but up to 3 days.
While the dough is chilling line a baking sheet with 3 layers of paper towel. Scrape the pumpkin puree from the can and spread it evenly across the paper towel. Lay another triple-layer of paper towel over the pumpkin puree and gently set another baking sheet on top. Don't press it or weigh it down with anything—just let it sit for about 30 minutes. The paper towel will pull all the access moisture from the pumpkin and you should ultimately be left with about 6 - 7 ounces of the pumpkin left.
In a bowl beat together the egg yolks with the sugar, spices and salt until light and fluffy—kind of resembling a mousse almost. Beat in the purged pumpkin and set in the fridge to chill with the dough (or at least 30 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 375°
Cut the dough in half and roll each half out to about 12" x 16" and about 1/8" thick on a lightly floured surface (do this on a wood cutting board if you have stone counter tops). Cut out 8 pumpkins from each half of dough, about 5" diameter. Lay 8 of the cut outs onto two parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheets.
Scoop about 1/4 cup of the pumpkin mix onto each of the 8 cut outs and spread it out, leaving about 1/2" around the edges. Beat the egg and water together until combined and brush it along the edges.
Cut out Jack-O-Lantern eyes and mouths on the remaining 8 pumpkin cut outs and lay over the bottom halves. Lightly press on the seams and then crimp with a fork. Return the handpies to the fridge for 30 minutes to help the dough chill again.
After 30 minutes is up, brush the tops of the handpies with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and gorgeous.
Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes and serve warm.
They also reheat very well in a low oven
You can get the same pumpkin cookie cutter set from Amazon riiiiiiiiiiight here <----