Harvest Handpies

These are a special treat with pumpkin or apple filling in autumn, but you can use whatever is in season any time of the year.

Preparation Time: About a day. 40 minutes hands on


3/4 cups white all purpose flour, plus additional flour for rolling
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar, plus additional sugar for sprinkling
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter or leaf lard, you may be able to substitute coconut oil here. It has worked for me with other crusts, but I haven't tried it with this one.
1 egg, separated (the egg gives the crust added body and strength. If you wish to omit the egg, add an extra tablespoon of butter. You'll have a more delicate crust, but it will still work.)
A few tablespoons of icewater

Use your favorite pie filling, fruit butter or preserves (not jelly)
For this example, I am using pumpkin butter.

Something to process the dough- a food processor, stand mixer, dough cutter, fork or your fingers.
A rolling pin
A biscuit cutter or cookie cutter or your desired shape and size. A drinking glass or mason jar lid will often do in a pinch. It should be at least 3 inches across, or you'll have trouble keeping your filling in.
A cookie sheet
A pastry or basting brush
A Fork


Make the dough for the crust
1. Combine flour, salt and sugar. Mix them up well.
2. Cut in the butter.
A food processer makes this easier. If you are using a stand mixer, use start with the paddle and then move to the whisk attachment. You can also cut it in using a pastry cutter, a fork or your fingers. I am told this can be done with two knives, I haven't figured that out yet. You want everything to stay as cold as possible, so handle it as little as possible. Mix it all together till it looks a bit like coarse cornmeal with a few little globby bits in it.
3. Scramble your egg yolk and add it in. It will probably start to look like wet cornmeal now and may start balling up for you.
4. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time, mixing well between additions until it starts to ball up. That is, it'll start to look like a bunch of little pebbles. Don't add anymore water, but continue mixing for a bit after this and it'll soon turn into a nice thick dough.
5. Let the dough rest. Cover it and put it in the fridge for a half hour to overnight. You can also freeze it and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. (I prefer to shape it before freezing, then you don't have to thaw it.)

6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheight.

7. Cut your dough in half an put one half in the fridge to stay cool while you work with the other half. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is as thin as you can get it without it falling apart. Fold it 4 times so it's in a square and roll it out again. Use your floured cutter to cut the dough into desired shapes. Reroll your scraps and repeat. This dough is best if it's rolled less often than more, so try to fit as many shapes into each rolling as possible.

Filling the pies
There are two ways to do this. First, you can cut a circle using a biscuit cutter or a mason jar ring, place the filling in the middle and fold it over like a taco and seal the edges, or you can cut two identical shapes (I like to make my pumpkin handpies pumpkin shaped, my apple handpies apple shaped, etc. but you could easily do squares and making something like a Poptart.), place the filling on top of one shape, place the second shape on top and seal the edges.

8. Brush the edges of your dough with water, place a spoonful (tablespoon or teaspoon depending on the size of your crust) of filling in the center and either fold it over or place the second crust on top. Use a fork to seal the raw edges all around.

9. Brush the tops of your pies with the egg white and sprinkle them with sugar, or cinnamon sugar if you like.

10. Bake in the 350 degree oven and for 20 more minutes, or until golden.

11. Allow to cool. They taste best the next day, stored at room temperature.

Additional Comments:

This dish is best served on the following occasions:

Samhain, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Autumn Equinox

Autumn, winter

This dish carries energies for the following magical purposes:

Attribution: The crust is based on the Sweet Tart Crust in Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Did you try this recipe? Tweak it? Tell us what you think!

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