The holidays are the one time of year we think it's permitted, nay essential, that you eat pie at each and every chance. We prefer hand pies like these Spiced Cranberry Pear so we can have them on the go, as a snack, or just our very own individual portion just because.
plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
(about 2) cored and finely chopped
Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.Combine cranberries, 2/3 cup of the sugar, the maple syrup, the apple or pear juice, 3 tablespoons of the flour, 1 tablespoon of the butter, salt, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut pears into a small dice. Remove from heat, stir in the pears, pecans, the lemon juice, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and set aside to cool slightly, at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the pie dough.
Unwrap the dough and using a lightly floured rolling pin on a lightly floured cutting board, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick circle. With a 3-inch biscut cutter, stamping as many discs as possible from the pie dough. Gather the scraps and reroll the dough and stamp until you have 32 discs total. (Keep unused dough in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
When the filling is cool, cut the remaining butter into 16 small pieces then arrange 16 of the rolled-out discs between the two prepared baking sheets. Top each disc with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons of the cranberry mixture and a dab of the butter, being sure to leave a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Place the remaining discs on top of the cranberry mixture and press them together at the border. Using a small fork, crimp the edges of the two discs together to securely close each hand pie.
Use a pastry brush to brush the hand pies with cream then garnish the hand pies with the remaining sugar. Cut an “X” shaped vent in the top of each hand pies. Place pies in the freezer until the oven is heated, at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange two racks in the upper and lower third.
Pies can be made through this step and frozen (stored in an airtight container) up to 1 month ahead. Bake pies fully frozen, knowing it will take them a few minutes longer to fully bake.
Place both baking sheets of pies in the oven and bake, swapping the baking sheets halfway through cooking time, until pies are risen and golden brown on the bottom and the fruit mixture starts bubbling through the vent, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool briefly on cooling racks (at least 5 minutes) then serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Photo by Robin Jolin // Food Styling by Lillian Kang