Celebrate Pi Day with Winter Pear and Cranberry Hand Pies

By March 12, 2018May 3rd, 2024Recipes

Our Brooklyn Teen Apprentices showed off what they’ve been learning by making their own hand pies with winter pears and cranberries. The following week, they made a different kind of pie: pizza pies with fresh veggies.  Learning to make your favorite dishes always has a sweet reward — eating it at the end of class!

Winter Pear Cranberry Hand Pies: Cut dough (recipe below) into six parts. Working with one section at a time, lightly dust your work surface and pin with flour and roll dough into a 6-inch circle or the width of your hand — about 1/8 of an inch thick. If the dough becomes sticky while rolling, add a sprinkle of flour under dough. Cut rolled dough into two equal halves. Fill the center of one half with Pear-Cranberry filling and use the second half to carefully top the filled first half. Gently press and seal edges using either your finger and/or a fork. Using a fork to poke a few small holes into your top dough and brush with egg wash.  Optional: sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Allow 15 minutes to cool. Serve and enjoy.


Basic Pastry Crust Recipe

Makes one 8 or 9-inch pie crust  (double recipe to add a top crust)

1 ¼  cup All Purpose Flour

¼  cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 stick of butter, cut into small (1/2-inch) cubes, chilled

¼ cup of ice water (maybe more)


for the Filling:

3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and diced

1 tablespoon butter

8 oz fresh or frozen cranberries

½ cup granulated sugar

¼  cup brown sugar

1  teaspoon ginger, grated

¼  teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

for the Egg Wash:

1 egg

1 tsp water



  1. In a food processor, combine both flours and salt. Pulse to combine.
  2. Add cold cubed butter, and pulse 8-10 times, until the butter is mixed throughout and the mixture has the texture of sand.
  3. With the machine running, slowly pour in the cold water until the dough begins to clump together. Once it does, remove the dough onto a clean surface, and gently pat it together with your hands into a disk shape.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until you need it. Repeat step 1 and step 2 for the top crust.
  5. Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator. If it is too stiff to roll out, let it sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Lightly dust your work surface and pin with flour and roll dough into a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. If the dough becomes sticky while rolling, add a sprinkle of flour under dough and. Gently place into a pie plate and press the dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use scissors to trim the dough within a 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie plate.
  6. Set aside in the refrigerator while you roll out the other dough disk (if using).
  7. Remove pie plate from the refrigerator and fill with Pear-Cranberry filling and use the second rolled out dough to top the filled pie plate. Tuck and trim excess dough and crimp to seal edges. Brush dough surface with egg wash and optional: sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  8. Bake for 15-20 min or until golden. Cool and enjoy!

For the Pear-Cranberry filling:

  1. In a medium saute pan, heat the butter until melted. Add the diced pears to the butter and cook until they begin to release some liquid, about 5-6 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, sugars, dried spices and grated ginger. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook until mixture begins to thicken and the fruit is tender about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and follow instructions for Basic Pastry Crust.