I love traditional tried-and-true recipes with unique and unconventional twists. My husband pointed out these delicious looking Caramel-Pecan Hand Pies in the latest issue of Food and Wine and the minute I saw them, I knew that it wouldn't be long before these interesting pastries would find their way to the cake dome on my counter..........
I didn't have much time to prepare a dessert for guests yesterday, so I simplified the recipe by using refrigerated pie crusts rather than the scratch recipe from the magazine. The delicious, sticky pecan-caramel filling is the highlight of these hand pies so the shortcut didn't seem to effect the final results; they were wonderful served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the fabulous caramel sauce that's leftover from the pecan filling.
These pies would be fun to take on a picnic or to give to a friend or neighbor as they are easily transported and, as their name suggests, utensils are not necessary to enjoy them. They would also be ideal for a bake sale or party at work since there isn't pan to retrieve afterwards. I love the fact that, unlike a traditional pecan pie, the crust stays crisp, flaky and fresh all the way around.
If you want to treat your family and/or friends to a delightful autumn dessert, pick up a package of pie crusts, a bag of pecans and
- 1½ cups pecans
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 5 large eggs 1 egg beaten
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, until browned and fragrant. Cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the sugar with ½ cup of water. Cook over moderate heat, swirling the pan gently every now and then, until the caramel is medium-amber, about 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, cream and vanilla. Transfer 1 cup of the caramel to a large bowl and let cool slightly. (Save any remaining caramel for drizzling over the finished pies.)
Whisk the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the corn syrup into the caramel/butter mixture in the bowl. Add the 4 unbeaten eggs and whisk until smooth. Add the pecans and a generous pinch of salt. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Pour the pecan filling into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until set. Let cool slightly, then scrape the pecan filling into a bowl and gently stir to recombine. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a floured work surface cut twelve 6" circles from the two packages of refrigerated pie crusts, gathering and re-rolling scraps as needed. (I cut three
" circles from each disk of dough by folding two sides in towards the middle then rolling each piece of dough (from the center) into a 6" x 18" rectangle (I used a 6" plate as a template.) Cut out decorative shapes from leftover scraps if desired.
Brush the pastry surfaces lightly with some of the beaten egg. Scoop a scant ¼ cup of the pecan filling onto each round and fold the pastry over to make a turnover. Press the edges to seal and crimp with the tines of a floured fork. Brush the tops of the pies with the beaten egg and arrange the cut out shapes decoratively, if desired. Brush again with the egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Using a sharp knife, make a small slit in the top of each pie.
Place the pies on 2 sheet pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown; shift the pans halfway through baking. Let the pies cool on the baking sheets before serving. Drizzle the reserved caramel sauce over the pies when serving, if desired.
Ashley B. says
Made these this week for a pie auction and they were delicious! Do you think the filling would set up in a normal pie pan?
Chris Scheuer says
Hi Ashley, honestly, I haven't done it but I think it would be fine. The filling definitely not loose.
I have tried a recipe with the same ingredients (but different measurements) to make a pecan pie several times in the past, and it turned out perfect.
Yummers! My Mother always made these in the Fall and filled them with a dried apple mixture or if she was in a hurry very spicy (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) apple butter. They were always a hit!!
Mary Edwards says
Could these be made smaller? Maybe the size of empanadas? Say about 3inches instead of 6 inches?
Chris Scheuer says
These could definitey be made smaller. They'd be really fun that way!
Chris Scheuer says
I've never tried it but I can't see why not.
can you fry these instead of baking them?
Tanya - Three Square Meals says
I love anything caramel! Add the pecans and I am sold.
Pacheco Patty says
Beautiful little pies, I hope to try making them myself, they look so good;-)
These look delicious!! I love pecans!
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Oh wow these look good. The look a little dangerous though. I'm a sucker for anything pastry but add caramel and pecans to it and I won't be able to stop!
Rachel @ Bakerita says
These look AMAZING!
So good...totally making these ASAP. I want them now!
Oh my oh my, these look divine! I really don't think I could limit myself to just one. They look way too delicious. 🙂
Oh boy do those look tempting!
Vicki Bensinger says
Your pecan hand pies look fantastic. Just the perfect size so you don't over indulge.
These little pecan pies look so very tempting!!! I am a fan of pecan pie. I just love it, so I am positive that these pies would not last long in my home! Blessings, Catherine
Yumola Chris these look great! Those cute little cutouts add a little sassiness to the pies.
The Café Sucré Farine says
You crack me up! You gave me my laugh for the day!
The Mom Chef says
I just about wrenched my mouse button finger trying to get here as quickly as possible. Caramel pies. What a gorgeous photo. It I can't believe that's store bought pie crust (you shouldn't have told us). It's pretty much a pecan pie, no? I've got to make it soon. I can't get over how gorgeous those photos are.