Crust is hands down my favorite part of any pie, and these hand pies present the ideal crust-to-filling ratio. They’ll give your dessert spread a new look without sacrificing any beloved flavor.

Pecan Hand Pies

Yields | 12 pies |

Crust

  • 1 cup, plus ¼ tsp, all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp, granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp chilled coconut oil, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 5 Tbsp chilled butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • 4-6 Tbsp ice water

Pecan Filling

  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pecans, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

| Preparation Crust | In a food processor, add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse for 3 to 4 minutes, until blended. Add chilled coconut pieces; pulse for 6 to 8 minutes, until fat is almost completely cut into flour mixture. Add chilled butter; pulse for 6 to 8 minutes, until butter is cut into flour mixture. Transfer flour/fat mixture to a large bowl; add 4 tablespoons ice water and fold together with a spatula until dough starts to stick together. If it is still too crumbly, add ½ tablespoon of cold water at a time, folding in until dough sticks together. Once dough begins to form, transfer to a clean work surface; using your hands, quickly form into a ball and then flatten into an 8-inch disk (you don’t want the heat from your hands to melt any of the fats). Tightly wrap disk in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 45 minutes, or until you’re ready to use it.

| Preparation Pecan Filling | In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans and salt. Add remaining ingredients and fold together. Set aside.

| Assembly – Pecan Hand Pies | Flour a clean work surface. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on work surface. Press a 6-inch circular cookie cutter into dough to create a base. Remove base from dough, lay it on work surface separately and add 3 tablespoons of filling to bottom half. Add egg wash around the edges of the base. Fold over and pinch edges together. Repeat with 11 more circles. Set in refrigerator to chill, approximately 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove hand pies from refrigerator and transfer to baking sheet. Brush egg wash over the top of each pie and with a sharp knife, make an X on top of each. Bake in oven for 15 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and set on wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Julia Calleo is a freelance photographer for editorial magazines including Feast. She is also a food and prop stylist at a commercial production studio and blogger in St. Louis.

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