Hello! A few weeks ago I shared these water-color painted apple hand pies, and they received such great reviews that I just had to make more hand pies with another fall twist. Enter: Chai Spiced Pumpkin Hand Pies!
Each flaky homemade pie crust pocket is filled with a flavorful and sweet pumpkin pie filling. Then, we add a sprinkle of my popular chai-spiced sugar right before baking. The result? A perfectly pumpkiny, deliciously fragrant, gorgeous fall treat.
This recipe actually comes together quite quickly and you can adapt it to fit all sorts of baking levels! Though I used my fool-proof, easy homemade pie crust recipe, you could sub it for store-bought, to reduce time and effort. I’d recommend giving my pie crust a try, though — it receives requests every fall from happy taste-testers who enjoyed it the year prior. And, if you’d like, you can follow the tutorial in my apple hand pies post to paint these pumpkins for an extra fun touch of autumn!
So, shall we begin?
How To Make Chai Spiced Pumpkin Hand Pies
Before getting started, peruse the tools list to make sure that you have all the materials you need to bake. Then, check out the recipe and references below. Finally, don’t forget to have fun!
Kitchen Tools & Items You’ll Need
I’ve included some of my favorite links (affiliate) to the items below for your easy shopping and reference!
For the easy, homemade pie crust, you’ll need:
- Food processor or a pastry cutter.
- Plastic wrap
- Pastry brush
- Pastry wheel/cutter, a small paring knife, or a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter
- Parchment paper
- Rolling pin
For the pumpkin hand pie filling and chai-spiced sugar, you’ll need:
Pumpkin Hand Pies — Recipe & Tips
After you’ve prepared all of your tools and ingredients (listed below) you’re ready to begin! Here are some helpful tips to ensure the process goes smoothly. Below these tips, check out the full recipe card and detailed, step-by-step instructions.
- When working with a pie crust of any kind, you need to do so quickly. The freezer is your friend! If pie crust is handled too much or allowed to sit at room temperature for very long, the butter in the crust starts to melt and leak out. This results in a very tough pastry. Always return pie crust to the refrigerator or freezer when you’re not immediately working with it. For an in-depth pie crust discussion, including the science behind my famous “fool-proof” pie crust, check out my guide, here.
- When filling the hand pies, try to add as much pumpkin filling as possible. However, keep about a 1/4″ or more between the edges of the pie crust and the filling.
- I cut vents in the top piece of pie crust before adding it to the filled bottom pie crust. Doing so otherwise is a bit messy and causes the filling to be pressed outwards, potentially breaking the sealed edges.
- If you have a lot of extra pie crust dough after cutting out your first batch of pumpkin shapes, you can carefully press the leftovers back together and re-roll them out. Then, cut more pumpkin shapes. However, only re-roll pie crust scraps once to avoid the crust becoming hard and dense. I like to use the leftovers to make smaller pie crust decorations, such as small leaves and the twisted vines you see in the photos in this post. These pie crust scrap “chips” are super tasty all on their own, and only take a few minutes to bake.
- Don’t be afraid to really press hard with your fork to seal the edges. After doing so, you can mold the pie crust with your fingers to reshape it into more of a pumpkin figure, if desired.
- Egg wash helps the chai sugar stick to the outside of the pie, so don’t hold back!
- You can make and assemble these hand pies up to three months in advance. To do so, don’t egg wash or add the sugar to the outside. Then, simply seal them in an air-tight container, and freeze! You can bake straight from the freezer — just don’t forget to add the egg wash/chai sugar to the frozen pies. Then, add on a few more minutes of bake time.
Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Hand Pies
Pumpkin Hand Pies
- 2 pie crusts (one batch homemade makes two crusts) — see note 1 below
- ¾ cup pure, canned pumpkin
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅛ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tbsp chai-spiced sugar, to taste (for topping/garnish later on; recipe below)
Chai-Spiced Sugar (For Topping/Garnish)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
Pumpkin Hand Pies
- In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, condensed milk, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Make sure to use the measurements under the "pumpkin hand pies" ingredients section, NOT the "chai-spiced sugar" section (you'll use the chai-spiced sugar later for topping.) Mash and mix thoroughly with a fork or spoon, until it comes together smoothly. Set aside.
- On parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, roll out your pie crusts one at a time until they are less than ¼" thick. Use your pumpkin cookie cutter or paring knife to stamp or hand-cut pumpkin shapes. Each crust should provide around twelve pumpkin shapes, so you should end up with twenty-four cut-outs. However, it may vary depending on exactly how thinly you rolled the pie crust, and how large you cut the shapes. Combine the excess pie crust gently together, and roll it out again to stamp more shapes. Don't re-roll scraps more than once, though. Instead, cut out some smaller designs to bake later as decor (leaves, spiral vines, hearts, etc.) These pie-crust scrap "chips" are delicious all on their own, and make a great decor on the serving platter!
- Using a large spoon, add pumpkin filling to twelve of your pie crust cut-outs.
- Use a paring knife to cut vents in the remaining twelve pie crust cut-outs. You can curve the vents a little to create the "ridges" classic to the pumpkin shape.
- In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the egg white and heavy cream. Dip a pastry brush into this wash, and brush it on the edge of a pumpkin-filled pie crust. Then, place a vented pie crust on top, pressing the edges together. Use a fork to really seal the edges, then reshape with your fingers, if necessary. Repeat with the remaining pie crusts.
- Place the hand pies on a baking sheet, if they aren't already, and pop them in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. If you seal the hand pies in plastic, you can freeze them as-is for up to three months. At this time, also freeze any excess pie crust decor you cut out if it isn't chilling already.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Remove the pies from the freezer and brush them with egg wash. Then, sprinkle on a bit of the chai-spiced sugar to taste — you won't need to use it all, just give each pie a little dusting.
- Bake the frozen or chilled hand pies for 23-27 minutes, or until they look very golden brown and the edges are starting to darken past gold just slightly.
- Optionally, remove the pie crust scrap decor pieces from the freezer, and repeat the process of adding egg wash and chai sugar. Bake for 5-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Time will vary based on the size of the cut-outs.
- Let cool fully, then enjoy. Hand pies and pie crust decor can keep at room temperature in an air-tight container for 2-3 days.
Chai-Spiced Sugar (Topping/Garnish)
- Mix all of the spices and sugar in a small bowl.
- Store in an air-tight container up to the earliest expiration date of your sugar or spices. Use on: pie crust, beignets, doughnuts, pastry, coffee, whipped cream, bananas foster, cakes, muffins, strudel, candied nuts, and more.
Enjoy & Happy Fall
I hope you loved this post as much as I enjoyed making it! Again, here are some helpful references, in case you missed the links earlier:
If you have any questions, or if you enjoyed this post, please feel free to leave me a comment! Also, be sure to find me on Instagram so that we can keep in touch!
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PS. Addicted to Pinterest, like me? Pin one of the images below to reference it later and share it with your fellow pinners! After all, sharing is caring. 😉