Pumpkin Hand Pies from The Culinary Combo

Ingredients: Sweet Pastry: 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/8 tsp salt 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4-inch cubes About 3 tablespoons ice-cold water, or just enough to hold the pastry together Filling: 2 15-ounce cans pumpkin purée 2/3 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice 1 Tbsp lemon juice 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 pinch sea salt Egg wash Cinnamon Sugar Instructions: Sweet Pastry: Combine the dry ingredients by pulsing 10 to 12 times in a food processor or blending it with a pastry blender. The butter needs to be quickly blended in until it resembles the size of very coarse sand or sea salt. In a processor, this should take between 40 and 50 quick, successive pulses. The amount of water the pastry will take largely depends on the humidity level of the flour. In my kitchen, this pastry usually takes between 2 and 3 tablespoons of water. Whether in a processor or in a bowl with a blender, trickle the water very slowly into the pastry while pulsing or cutting. The second the pastry begins to form a big, messy ball, you're there, so STOP! (Note: If the dough turns gummy and sticky and messy, try adding 2 tablespoons of flour. If that cant fix it, throw it out and try again. You'll get it right the next time! And its just flour, water, and butter.) Turn the pastry dough out onto a lightly floured surface and set aside Filling: Add all ingredients to a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Once it begins bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer. You're looking for a frequent bubble, so if there isn't much going on at the surface, increase heat to medium-low heat. If bubbling too vigorously, reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is 20-minute pumpkin butter, but if you have more time, leaving it on the stove for another 5-10 minutes will only deepen the flavors and thicken the texture. However, 20 minutes was about perfect! Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more brown sugar or maple syrup for sweetness, lemon juice for acidity, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice for warmth, or salt to balance the flavors. Once cooled completely, transfer to a large glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Assembly: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out sweet pastry on floured surface. Using pumpkin shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough, two pumpkins per hand pie. Continue cutting shapes with the remaining dough. Transfer half of the pastry pieces to your prepared baking sheets. Place a Tbsp. of pumpkin butter in the middle on half of the cut outs. Brush edges of pastry that has the pumpkin filling with egg wash. Top with remaining pastry pumpkins. Using a fork, crimp the edges of the hand pie. Cut an X in the middle of each pie with a paring knife. Brush top of hand pie with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 15 minutes. .

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