Spiced Pear Hand Pie
February is Great American Pies Month and we’re celebrating this time-tested dessert with a Spiced Pear Hand Pie. Pears are a staple and don’t always get the attention they deserve. Full of flavor, juicy texture and nutrients, we tip our hat to the pear with this unique twist on the traditional pie, blending in a little spice. An added benefit is that hand pies are easy to pack for lunch – for you or the kids. They even freeze well, before or after baking. Use prepared refrigerated crusts as suggested, or use a homemade crust.
Makes: 14 pies
- 4 large ripe USA Pears (we recommend Anjou), peeled, cored, and diced into ½ squares
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
- 3 tablespoons light agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons flour (for work surface)
- 1 package pie crusts (2 per package), thawed in the fridge
- 1 egg, beaten
- In a medium sauté pan, heat the butter until melted. Add the diced pears to the butter and cook until they begin to release some liquid, about 5-6 minutes. Add the vanilla bean (and the seeds), agave nectar, dried spices and grated ginger. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook until mixture begins to thicken and the fruit is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Working on a floured surface, roll out the pie crusts so that they are about ⅓-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cutter (I used a large mason jar lid), cut out rounds of the dough. Add a heaping spoonful of mixture to each round and fold over. Using a fork, crimp the edges to seal and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Once done, place the pies in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Before baking, vent each pie on the top with two small slits. Brush each with a bit of egg wash. Bake for 20-22 minutes (depending on your oven) or until bubbling and golden brown – it’s okay if you get some oozing out of the top and sides. They’re supposed to be rustic. Allow to cook slightly before eating – the filling is HOT!
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