Pecan hand pies may be my very favorite way to eat pie. With the ideal ratio of flaky, golden crust to rich brown sugar-pecan filling, these adorable petite pies are a must bake for your Thanksgiving table.
Spend a blissful morning in the kitchen rolling and filling the pies, then stash the batch in the freezer until you’re ready to bake. If you plan to feed a crowd (or even if you don’t!), be sure to double the recipe for gifting and enjoying. And you didn’t hear this from me, but if you’re in a time crunch, feel free to use your favorite store-bought dough.
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1–2 Tbsp vodka
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp water
- 2 tsp sugar (for sprinkling)
- For the crust, grate 1/4 cup butter into a small bowl; cut remaining 1/4 cup butter into small cubes and place in a second bowl; chill bowls in freezer for 15 minutes. Whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; place bowl in freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Chill buttermilk and vodka in freezer for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle cubed butter over chilled flour mixture and toss with a spatula to coat. Use a pastry blender to cut in butter until the biggest pieces are the size of peas; fold in grated butter. Drizzle buttermilk over flour mixture; use a spatula to gather dough together until it forms large clumps. If needed, add vodka 1 tablespoon at a time, then gently knead just to form a ball. Wrap dough in plastic and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days, or place in a freezer bag and freeze 1 to 2 months).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place dough on a floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out dough until dough is a 12-inch circle, 1/8″ thick (If dough starts to stick, use a floured bench scraper to gently lift dough from board). Use a 3 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out 12 circles of dough (re-roll scraps once). Place circles on baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
- For the filling, combine brown sugar, pecans, and salt in a small bowl. Add melted butter and vanilla; fold in until combined. To assemble hand pies, whisk together egg yolk and water in a small bowl. Brush chilled circles lightly with egg wash; top with 1 tablespoon filling. Fold circles over and crimp edges with a fork to seal. Chill assembled pies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Just before baking, vent pies with a sharp knife, brush lightly with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 18 to 19 minutes, until golden brown. Cool pies on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make ahead: Freeze assembled pies on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag for storage. When ready to bake, brush with egg wash and bake directly from the freezer, adding 1-2 minutes to baking time.
- Calories: 195
- Carbohydrates: 24