Let me just by saying… I LOVE HALLOWEEN!
I dunno, there’s just something about dressing up as a terrifying undead monster and going out in public and meeting other terrifying undead monsters that just really, really appeals to me. I’m not the only one, right?
I mean, I fully admit to being that girl who spends hours on her Halloween costume just for that one night.
Special effects make up and all.
I kid you not.
I know, I have a problem. But, Halloween.
I also LOVE carving pumpkins!
It’s just basically a way of getting arty with food, so naturally I’m gonna love it. I’m that girl who will carve a pumpkin every year even if I’m not doing anything for Halloween. Just because.
I also love Nightmare Before Christmas.
Anyways, this year I find myself without any Halloween plans. Sad face.
So to compensate, I figured why not make something Halloween inspired that I could eat at least? Because food makes everything better.
Hence, Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Hand Pies!
Like I said, I love carving pumpkins…
I started by making the pastry. I added the flour, sugar and salt to a large bowl, then dropped in the cold cubed butter.
I rubbed this into the flour to form a coarse meal, but with smaller lumps of butter too.
I gradually poured in the cold water, mixing with each addition, until a dough just started to clump together. I tipped this out onto a lightly floured surface and pressed into a large flat square. I covered this in cling film and left to firm up in the fridge for 30 minutes.
In the meantime I made the filling, by adding the pumpkin puree, cream cheese, light brown sugar, double cream, eggs, flour, and spices to a large bowl and mixed to a smooth batter. It will be quite runny, but should be thick enough to stay in place when spooning it onto the pastry.
Once the dough had chilled, I removed it from the fridge and left it at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes before I attempted rolling it. This was just to make sure it wouldn’t crack.
I rolled it out to a large rectangle of ½cm thickness, then cut out and even number of pumpkin shapes using a knife and stencil. To half of these I then cut out jack-o-lantern faces.
I then spooned about 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the pumpkins, taking care to leave a 1cm gap from the edge. The amount you use will vary depending on the size of your pumpkins (mine were roughly 10cm wide).
I brushed the edge of the pastry with water, then placed the jack-o-lantern face on top. I pressed down to seal the edges, then crimped with a fork. Finally I brushed these with an egg wash and sprinkled with brown sugar.
I placed these on a lined baking tray and baked at 200°C for 20-25 minutes.
Leave to cool slightly before eating, but serve warm!!
For the pastry:
- 500g plain flour
- 4tbsp caster sugar
- 1tsp salt
- 250g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 100ml cold water
For the pumpkin filling:
- 250g pumpkin puree
- 120g cream cheese
- 2 eggs
- 150 light brown sugar, extra for sprinkling
- 4tbsp double cream
- 5 heaped tbsp plain flour
- ½tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼tsp ground cloves
- ¼tsp ground ginger
- ¼tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼tsp ground allspice
- 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
For the pastry:
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, or food processor.
- Add the chilled, cubed butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips (or pulse several times in the food processor) to form a coarse breadcrumb consistency. It’s good to have a few smaller chunks of butter too.
- Gradually add the cold water and mix (or pulse) until the dough just begins to clump together.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a rough flat square. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This can also be prepared overnight.
For the pumpkin filling:
- Add all the filling ingredients to a large bowl and mix until you have a smooth mixture.
For the assembly:
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and allow to rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a large rectangle of ½cm thickness.
- Using a pumpkin cookie cutter (or a stencil and a knife), cut out an even number of pumpkins from the dough.
- Cut out jack-o-lantern faces from half of the pumpkins. Or you can keep some to have full pumpkins too, just score them slightly to look like pumpkins.
- Spoon the filling into the middle of the full pumpkins, leaving a rough 1cm edge of pastry around the filling. The amount of filling will vary depending on the size of your pumpkins. (I used 1tbsp of filling for my 10cm-ish wide pumpkins).
- Brush around the edge of the pastry with a little water, then place the pastry faces on top over the filling. Gently press down on the edges to seal, then crimp with a fork.
- Place on a lined baking tray, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave to cool slightly, but best served warm! Or at room temperature.