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Cranberry Hand Pies

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Cranberry Hand Pies

Introduction:

As the seasons change and the air fills with a crisp chill, it’s time to embrace the flavors of the harvest. Among the array of autumn delights, cranberries stand out as a quintessential ingredient, offering a burst of tartness that perfectly complements the warmth of spices. In this article, we’ll explore the art of crafting cranberry hand pies – portable pockets of joy that encapsulate the essence of the season. With a buttery crust and a filling bursting with tangy cranberries, these hand pies are sure to become a favorite for cozy gatherings and festive occasions alike.

Ingredients: For the crust:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 6-8 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • Coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To make the crust, in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cubed butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Gradually add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing gently with a fork until the dough begins to come together. Be careful not to overwork the dough. You may not need to use all of the water.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it gently until it forms a cohesive ball. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disk, wrap them in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. While the dough chills, prepare the cranberry filling. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens slightly, about 10-12 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the cranberry mixture and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the filling is thickened. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
  7. Once the dough has chilled, roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. Use a round cutter (about 4-5 inches in diameter) to cut out circles of dough.
  8. Place a spoonful of the cranberry filling in the center of each dough circle, leaving a small border around the edges. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  9. Transfer the assembled hand pies to the prepared baking sheet. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush it over the tops of the hand pies for a golden finish. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired.
  10. Bake the hand pies in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  11. Allow the hand pies to cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Serve the cranberry hand pies warm or at room temperature, and enjoy the delightful combination of buttery crust and tangy cranberry filling.

Conclusion:

With their flaky crusts and vibrant cranberry filling, these hand pies are a celebration of autumn’s bounty. Whether enjoyed as a sweet treat with a cup of hot cider or shared with loved ones at a festive gathering, cranberry hand pies are sure to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort. So, gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and indulge in the delicious simplicity of homemade cranberry hand pies – a seasonal delight that will leave you craving more.

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