Holiday Baking, Part II

fall tartsOn Sunday, I posted a recipe for Sweet Potato Hand Pies, which I made for a client who was attending pie-themed Thanksgiving brunch last year.

Today, I’m sharing a second hand pie recipe, which I made for my client as well as for my own family last holiday season (see photo above)—this one filled with fresh cranberries infused with orange. I found this recipe in the November 2012 issue of Bon Appétit.

The sugar in the filling seemed a bit much to me, so I reduced it from 1½ cups to just 1 cup — but you can increase the sugar if you like your cranberries sweeter.

Cranberry Hand Pies
Makes about 16 pies

3²⁄³ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted  butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, frozen

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal (with no large chunks of butter). With motor running, slowly drizzle ½ cup ice water through the feed tube. Pulse until the dough just begins to come together.

making doughDivide dough in half. Form each half into a ball; flatten into disks. Wrap each disk tightly in  plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours. Note: Dough can be made up to two days ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften  slightly before rolling out.

1 pound fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries  (about 4 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
½ teaspoon instant tapioca (not  starch)
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise

photo 1Combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and juice, and tapioca in a medium  saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Let stand for about 10 minutes to allow juices to  accumulate, then cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a simmer and begins to thicken. (Some cranberries will have burst.) Let cool completely. Note: Cranberry filling can be made up to five days ahead. Cover and chill.

To assemble pies:
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Raw sugar

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Working with one disk at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until very thin (about 1/16-inch). Using a 3-inch-diameter cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 16 circles.

Brush edges of 8 circles with beaten egg. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each egg-washed circle. Top with remaining circles to form 8 pies. Using a fork, crimp ¼ inch  around the edges to seal. If desired, use the cookie cutter to clean up the edges. Repeat with remaining disk of dough, egg, and filling.

Divide pies between prepared sheets, and chill for 45 minutes. Note: Pies can be assembled up to 2 hours before baking. Cover; keep chilled.

cranberry tartWhen ready to bake, preheat oven to 425° F. Working with one baking sheet of pies at a time, score the dough, forming a small X in the center of each pie. Brush tops of pies with beaten egg and sprinkle with raw  sugar.

Bake pies until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles out of the Xs cut in the top — about 17-20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the second baking sheet of pies.


One response to “Holiday Baking, Part II

  1. Pingback: Happy Pi Day! | Thyme with Sage

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