These were made in under an hour, all while entertaining a very fussy 3-month old. Entertaining means: dancing, singing, narrating, lifting, twirling, kissing. We even stopped mid-way to nurse. Have I told you how much I nurse this child? I don’t keep track but we’re on the couch at least every hour and a half. This means that at the end of a baking session, my kitchen is a colossal disaster. Gone are the days when I could clean up as I went…instead, every moment when my hand isn’t at work on a batter or a dough, I’m cradling and cuddling. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Luckily, Ryan is a champ in the kitchen too. He has cleaned up my messes in more ways than one, and I’m particularly thankful for his appearance when I set the timer on the oven and I survey the mess I’ve just created. I take the baby to nurse, yet again, and he starts scrubbing. By the time the pies or the muffins or the cookies are ready to leave the oven, I have a clean kitchen again. What a man I’ve got!
We’re having friends over for dinner tonight, which means I’ll spend ample time in the kitchen with Lucy today. We’ll dance while we whisk. We’ll sing while I chop. And we’ll nurse. We’ll nurse. We’ll nurse. Sweet Ryan will probably come through and clean up our mess at least three times before all the components of our dinner are finished. His reward will be kisses from me, smiles from Lucy, and hopefully a very good meal.
These Pumpkin Walnut Hand Pies will be the final course. I almost bought pre-made pie dough at the grocery store (consider the mess, I thought!) but then I looked at the ingredient list. Yuck. Thankfully, I’ve made pie dough enough times that it feels like second nature. And you simply can’t beat pie dough made from scratch. All that butter…
These came together beautifully, and I love how you can hold a pie in your hand. The walnut crumble adds a unique layer of crunch and sweetness to this classic fall dessert. I baked the walnut crumb separately and then sprinkled it on the pie. By baking it on a cookie sheet, I guaranteed that my topping would be evenly browned and crunchy. It’s worth trying, friends!
Pumpkin Walnut Hand Pies
1 disc pie dough
1 can pumpkin
12 oz half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
On a lightly floured surface, roll out disc of pie dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 8 5 1/2-inch-round circles, gently re-rolling scraps as necessary. Gently but firmly press each dough circle into a standard muffin cup. Crimp edges as desired. Place muffins pan in freezer for at least 30 minutes before filling.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin with sugar-spice mixture. Stir in eggs and half and half. Whisk until well combined. Fill each individual pie with pumpkin mixture, leaving about a 1/4 inch of pie dough exposed. Place pan in oven and bake for ten minutes.
While baking, combine flour, brown sugar, and butter in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, work the butter into the brown sugar and flour. Stir in walnuts. Spread mixture on baking sheet.
Leaving muffin pan in oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue baking for 30 minutes, or until pumpkin mixture has set. Bake crumb mixture for about ten minutes, or until just golden. Remove both pans from oven and allow to cool before removing. Sprinkle each pie with walnut crumb mixture.