• Pumpkin Hand Pies


The Perfect Autumnal Hand Pie

By Andrew Zimmern

I love pumpkin pie and this recipe is a game changer. Truly. The dough is simple and forgiving and my 9-year-old helps me make it. Yup. Then there is the filling, pre-baked and then filled into these modernist turnovers. So there you have it… the perfect autumnal pumpkin hand pie, featuring a filling that we all want to see more of, and delivered to you in easy-to-eat portions that can be frozen before frying so you always have them on hand. Oh, and yes, they are ridiculously delicious.

Watch me make a similar recipe:

Pumpkin Hand Pies

Servings: 6

Total: 1 hour 25 minutes



  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of salt


  • 2  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1  1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 1  1/2 tablespoon cinnamon


Make the Filling

Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk everything together until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pie plate and bake for about 25 minutes, until just set. Let cool completely.

Make the Crust

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the salt and the 1  1/2 teaspoons of sugar. Add the vegetable shortening and, using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces remaining. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the evaporated milk. Using a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gently knead until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a 16-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 6-inch plate as a guide, cut out 6 rounds out of the dough. Work with one piece of dough at a time: Spoon 1/4 cup of the cooled filling into the center of the round. Fold half the dough over itself to form a half-moon, pressing to seal. Crimp the edges decoratively, then trim the excess to a 1/2 inch. Repeat with the remaining rounds and filling.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with the cinnamon. In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of peanut oil to 350°. Add the hand pies and fry over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until deeply browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pies to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and immediately dust with the cinnamon sugar. Serve warm.

MAKE AHEAD  The dough and filling can be refrigerated separately overnight.

Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.

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