Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello October!

I know I say this all the time, so please forgive the redundancy, but I love Fall!

Today, I decorated the house for Fall...

...and started my morning with a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Sbux!

My friend Jessie is having a birthday get-together today with her husband and their families, and since it's Fall I wanted to make something yummy and perfect to take.  I have been craving everything pumpkin lately, and what better to take to a Fall party than pumpkin pie, especially when you're the fourth generation with a pumpkin pie family recipe (thank you Grammy!)?!  But pumpkin pie can be messy to eat, and one pie will only feed about 8 people (6 if you're like my family and want your slices big!) so I decided to make hand-pies.

If you don't know what a hand-pie is, it's a small, hand-held foldover pie that is about 2 or 3 bites big.  Perfect to eat at a party, not messy, and you can make a bunch of them out of one pie recipe.  Oh, and they are pretty dang delicious!

Here's what you need:
(this recipe will make about 40-45 handpies or one regular-sized pie)
1 cup pumpkin (either canned or fresh)
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

In my picture, you can see a can of pumpkin and then a cup of fresh pumpkin in the container with the purple lid.  My family has always made it with fresh pumpkin, but canned pumpkin works just as well.  Your choice!

Oh, and PS: I'm using my upcycled cookie sheet to message holder to hold my recipe card.  It's great, hands-free so your recipe card doesn't get all gross, and soooo easy to make!

Okay, so lets make some pies!
 First, mix the pumpkin, sugar, milk, and eggs in a mixing bowl until combined.
 Then add your flour, salt, and spices, and combine again.  If you're using fresh pumpkin, your mixture will be a little lumpy, and no matter what it's going to be soupy and runny--that's a good thing!

If you're making a regular-sized pie, pour it into a 9 inch pie crust.
If you're making mini handpies, pour into a baking dish (mine is 8 inches).

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.  While it's baking, I made my mini handpie crusts.  You have to bake the filling before you put it into the mini handpie crusts because it will be too liquidy if you don't.  That does not make for a very yummy (or clean) handpie.

So now it's crust time!  I used 4 9-inch premade pie crusts, which makes about 40 mini pie crusts, but only if you take the scraps, reroll them out, and continue cutting crusts until the scraps are too small to use.  I rolled out my dough onto a floured countertop and used a standard drinking glass to cut my rounds (a biscuit cutter would work just as well, but I don't have one lol) 
 Here are all my beautiful rounds!
 And here is my very yummy pie filling just out of the oven.  If you take it out and it's still liquidy in the middle, put it back in for about 7 minutes.  It will continue to finish firming up as it stands cooling, but you want it pretty firm when you take it out.  (Please ignore my dirty teapot and stove...)
 I put a little blob of filling onto each round (roughly 1/2 Tbs)...
 ...then folded it over and used a fork to pinch and seal the edges.  You might have a little pumpkin filling or liquid come out, and that's okay--just adjust how much you put in the next one so you don't waste too much squished out filling.  :)
 I used a paring knife to cut 2 small slits in the top of each pie, then brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar before baking.  Then it's back into the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees, until it's flaky and golden brown.
 Just out of the oven!
 And here they are, all finished, warm, and delicious. 

So now that my house is all decorated for Fall, smells like spices, and I have warm little pumpkin pie bites to fill my belly, I feel like Fall is truly here!  Happy October!

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