Chocolate Pear Hand Pies

I had heard rumblings about the glory of pairing pears and chocolate in pie.  I mean, they’re both two delicious things so how could it not be amazing?

No seriously… It’s REALLY GOOD.  Especially when in these adorable hand pies for Halloween (or Thanksgiving or Christmas? Start taking down your ideas!).

I also loved the Pop Tart quality of these hand pies.  They’re so easy to just hold in your hand and completely devour in five seconds while watching Stranger Things.  Side note, the reason this post is delayed is because I’ve been fully addicted to Stranger Things, anyone else?  I don’t know what to do with myself now that it’s over.

Some ingredient notes, I used bosc pears but bartlett will work as well.  For chocolate, I used semi sweet chocolate chips but if you have some REALLY good chocolate laying around (like some Valrhona discs…) you should totally go for it.

TREAT YOSELF!

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 5 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced Bartlett pears
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

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Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Meanwhile, make chocolate ganache.  In the microwave or on stovetop, bring cream to an almost boil and pour over chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk together until smooth.  Set aside.

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Remove dough disks from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface into a rectangle until about 1/4 inch thick .  Refrigerate on a parchment lined baking sheet while making filling.

In a large bowl, toss together pear slices, lemon juice and granulated sugar with your hands and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.  In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, spices and vanilla.  Drain excess moisture from pear mixture and sprinkle sugar mixture on top.  Toss with your hands until pears are evenly coated.

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To assemble the hand pies, use a pizza cutter to slice dough into smaller rectangles, however large you want the hand pies to be (I like 3-4 inches in length and 3 inches in width.  Think Pop Tart size).  Spread about 1-2 tablespoons of chocolate ganache (I eyeballed it, just get a good smear like below) onto one of the dough rectangles and arrange pear slices on top, like the photo below.

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For the top part of the dough, decorate with cutouts if desired.  Place on top of the pear layer, sealing the edges of the dough together with the tines of a fork.

Repeat with remaining dough rectangles and refrigerate assembled pies on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes.

Brush the tops of the hand pies with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

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