These pumpkin hand pies have an easy and delicious pumpkin pie filling in a super flaky all-butter crust. They have a crunchy bakery style top that is just so delicious! The pies are way faster and easier to whip up than a full size pumpkin pie. The pastry is so delicious that you won’t mind the greater crust to filling ratio.
🥧 Why you'll LOVE this recipe
- Flaky: When I say flaky, I mean FLAKY. The crust is folded a few times before chilling to create the best crispy-tender layers.
- Easy: The filling could not be easier to make. Just stir everything together and you’re all set. You can also buy premade pie crust for a delicious shortcut.
- Pumpkin: The pumpkin hand pies are packed full of pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor. You can sub the spice with just cinnamon or your favorite seasonal spice mix.
📝 Key ingredients
I’ve included my favorite recipe for a flaky pie crust in this recipe. For a shortcut, use a premade store bought pie crust - no one will ever know!
Read through for all the tips you will need for success!
Full steps and ingredients in recipe card below.
Pie crust ingredients
- Butter: use a good quality real butter for best results and flavor. It needs to be cut into small cubes and frozen for about 10 minutes. This ensures that the butter stays cold for extra flaky layers. I also add a bit of butter into the filling to make it velvety smooth.
- Vinegar: vinegar gives the pie crust a bit of tang (barely noticeable don’t worry) but it really does deepen the flavor and help balance the richness. I used apple cider vinegar but you can use white vinegar or lemon juice.
- Ice water: make sure that you have ice cubes floating in the water for ice cold water.
- Heavy cream: don’t substitute with milk or half and half cream. If you don’t do well with dairy you can use coconut or cashew cream.
- All purpose flour: Weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.
Pumpkin filling ingredients
- Pumpkin puree: You can use a canned pumpkin puree or a thick homemade puree. You want it to be as thick as Greek yogurt. Strain through a cheesecloth or reduce it in a pan on medium low heat until you get that thick consistency.
- Pumpkin spice: If you don’t like pumpkin spice you can use cinnamon instead. Or make your own pumpkin spice.
- Egg yolk: It helps the filling set and holds it all together.
👩🍳 How to make pumpkin hand pies
Step 1: 10 minutes before making the crust, cut the butter into small cubes (¼ inch). Spread on a plate in a single layer and freeze. Add vinegar to ice water and stir.
Mix together flour and salt with a whisk to break up lumps. Add frozen butter and cut with a knife or pastry cutter (or food processor) until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs with larger pea size pieces.
Step 2: Add vinegar water a couple of tablespoons at a time, mixing well in between. Stop adding when the mixture forms clumps and starts to come together. Don’t add too much or the crust will be tough.
Step 3: Working quickly, press dough into a disk, fold in half, press, and fold in half again. Cut in half and press each half into a disk. Wrap each disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Step 4: Combine filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside until assembly.
Step 5: Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to ⅛" thickness. Cut out ten 4" round circles (rerolling any scraps) and place on a parchment lined sheet.
Step 6: Place 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of each round. Brush the edges with egg wash. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Step 7: Roll out the second dough disk and cut ten more circles. Place them on top of the filled circles and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. It's ok if some filling leaks out while crimping. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
Step 8: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Brush the chilled pumpkin hand pies with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top. Using a sharp knife, cut an “x” on top of each pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
✔️ Expert pie tips
- Keep the butter chilled: I like to pop it in the freezer to ensure it stays cold while working the crust. This helps you achieve those flaky layers and a tender crust.
- Work the dough quickly: The pie dough needs to be worked quickly so don't take any breaks halfway through. If you do, pop the dough in the fridge to chill.
- Freeze the pies briefly before baking: This solidifies the butter before baking and create a pastry that is crisp and flaky tender.
🥄 Make ahead and storage
The hand pies are best served the day they are baked. Store any leftovers in an airtight container the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Heat up any leftovers in the oven to make them taste as if they were freshly baked.
You can make the pie crust the day before and keep it wrapped tightly in the fridge overnight. Assemble the pies the next day, and bake them the day after. Keep the raw dough and assembled pies refrigerated.
To freeze unbaked pies, assemble them in advance and freeze in a single layer on parchment paper before transferring them to an airtight, freezer safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Bake the pies from frozen, adding 5-10 minutes to the bake time.
✔️ How to get a flaky tender pie crust every time
The butter has to be super cold so that it doesn’t blend into the dough as much. You need it to be a bit chunky because that butter will melt in the oven to create the flakiest layers. Freeze it in little cubes before working with it so that it stays cold for as long as possible!
Make sure you leave some pea sized pieces of butter. You want some larger pieces for extra flakiness.
Don’t add too much vinegar water mixture to the dough. You only want to add enough to have it come together. Adding too much will create a tough dough!
Folding the pie dough before chilling helps laminate it, creating layers of butter and dough that will create lots of flakes. Kind of like a rough puff pastry! This will make the pastry puff up and get extra crispy in the oven.
Chilling the pumpkin hand pies before baking and keeping the dough as cool as possible throughout the whole process is key to preventing the butter from melting before it hits the oven. The sudden oven heat will cause it to puff up and create beautiful crisp and flaky layers.
📖 Recipe FAQs
Yes, you do. Don’t try to skip the chilling! The first chill helps relax the gluten and re-solidify the butter before rolling out. The second chilling ensures that the pies go into the oven as cold as possible. This will shock the pastry in the oven creating a beautiful flaky-crisp pastry. Chilling throughout the process helps ensure the dough stays as cool as possible!
Freezing the butter helps ensure that it stays as cold as possible while you work with it. Refrigerated butter will soften too quickly and the crusts won’t be as flaky. I cut them into small cubes before freezing so that they are easier to work into the flour.
You definitely can! I used store bought pumpkin puree in a can for convenience. If your pumpkin puree is thin, make sure that you strain it in a cheesecloth or cook it down to get a thick Greek yogurt type consistency.
I really recommend using heavy cream. Anything lighter than heavy cream will cause the filling to be too thin and leak through the crust. Also cream instead of milk in the egg wash helps the pies bake to a deeper golden color with a crunchier crust.
🍁 More related recipes
Check out my best pumpkin desserts for more easy pumpkin recipe ideas.
Did you make this recipe? I would love for you to rate this recipe and hear what you think in the comments below! Share your creation on Instagram and tag @flouringkitchen. Follow me on Pinterest to save and for more recipe ideas.
Pumpkin Hand Pies
- Baking sheet
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold
- 1 tablespoon vinegar apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 cup ice water
- 2 ½ cup all purpose flour 300g
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar
- 10 minutes before making the crust, cut the butter into small cubes (¼"). Spread on a plate in a single layer and freeze. Add vinegar to ice water and stir.1 cup unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 cup ice water
- Mix together flour and salt with a whisk to break up lumps. Add frozen butter and cut with a knife or pastry cutter (or food processor) until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs with larger pea size pieces.2 ½ cup all purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Add vinegar water a couple of tablespoons at a time, mixing well in between. Stop adding when the mixture forms clumps and starts to come together. Don’t add too much or the crust will be tough.
- Working quickly, press dough into a disk, fold in half, press, and fold in half again. Cut in half and press each half into a disk. Wrap each disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Combine filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside until assembly.1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 large egg yolk, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon heavy cream, 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- Whisk together egg and cream for the eggwash.1 egg, 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to ⅛" thickness. Cut out ten 4" round circles (rerolling any scraps) and place on a parchment lined sheet. Place 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of each round. Brush the edges with eggwash. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Roll out the second dough disk and cut ten more circles. Place them on top of the filled circles and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Freeze for 10 minutes to chill.
- Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Brush the chilled pies with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top. Using a sharp knife, cut an “x” on top of each pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Let the pies cool on the baking tray before digging in.1 tablespoon coarse sugar
- Keep the butter chilled for flaky layers
- Work the pie dough quickly
- Freeze the pies briefly before baking for perfect flaky tender crust