PEAR GINGER HAND PIES
makes eight 4½” x 2½” pies
Ginger Pie Pastry
(adapted from Eating Well Magazine)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon molasses combined with 2 tablespoons ice cold water
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flours, baking powder, brown sugar, spices and salt. Add the butter pieces and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Empty this mixture into a large bowl. Add the molasses/cold water and use your fingers to gather the dough together. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out. On a sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough out into a large piece ⅛” thick. Using a 4½” tart pan ring, I was able to cut out 8 circles of dough. (You can also use a large round cookie cutter measuring 4 or 4½ inches.) Place the cut circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Pear Ginger Filling
1½ pounds of ripe but firm pears, peeled, halved, cored and cut into ¾” chunks
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (taste the pears- and adjust the sugar accordingly)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
zest of one small lemon
1 tablespoon crystallized candied ginger, diced
an egg wash made from 1 egg combined with 1 tablespoon milk
coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling (preferably Sugar in the Raw)
In a large bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice and set aside. In a heavy bottomed sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the pears, sugar, spices and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat, about 5-7 minutes, until the pears are tender but still hold their shape. Remove from the heat and add the candied ginger. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit to a rimmed baking sheet, spreading the fruit evenly so it will cool. Do not add the reserved juices to the filling- it will make the pastry soggy. (The filling must cool completely before assembling the hand pies.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Remove one circle of pastry from the refrigerator at a time, set it on the parchment and place 1½ tablespoons of cooled filling into the center of the pastry. Use a small pastry brush or your fingertip to moisten the edge of the pastry with the egg wash. Fold the circle in half and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Repeat with the remaining circles of pastry. Brush each hand pie with egg wash and then sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar. Place this tray in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking. Bake on the bottom rack of a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 375 degrees, move the tray to the middle rack and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes until the pastry is golden. Serve warm, preferably with whipped cream.
Leave a Reply.