Thanksgiving is prime time for pies, but it doesn’t have to be all about pumpkin and pecan. In fact, it doesn’t have to be about sweet at all, or even adhere to the classic round shape (for instance, see slab pies). Chef Andrea Zanin showed us how to make a savory hand pie that combines that seasonal star, turkey, with sautéed vegetables, fresh herbs, and provolone, for a grab-and-go treat perfect for using up your leftover Thanksgiving bird.
The award-winning Italian chef has baking in the blood; his father made pastry for 50 years in Venice, and Andrea inherited both the shop and the passion for the art of pastry making. He eventually founded a banqueting company, Zanin Events, that handled catering for the Venice Film Festival and the San Pellegrino Cooking Cup. And lucky for us, he brought his expertise to America as the co-creater and owner of Pie Corps in Brooklyn, New York.
For the Love of Pie: Sweet and Savory Recipes, $26.52 on Amazon
If you can't get to Pie Corps in person, they also have a cookbook!
You can get all kinds of beautiful and delicious desserts at the shop, all made from scratch using pristine seasonal ingredients. Pumpkin pie is on the menu now, of course, along with other flavors like Coconut Custard and Dark Chocolate Fudge, and their signature pie, Apple Crumb with Rosemary Caramel.
They also serve pastries and savory hand pies, including breakfast options like bacon, egg, and cheese. Sweet hand pies are equally delicious, and there’s something especially appealing about individually apportioned desserts, but the beauty of savory hand pies is how they’re a full meal all in one portable, edible package.
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Thanksgiving Hand Pie Recipes
You can essentially think of the basic recipe as more of a template: Just make your favorite pie crust recipe (like our all-butter Easy Pie Crust recipe, or our butter-and-shortening Flaky Pie Dough recipe), cut squares from the rolled and chilled pastry, and fill them with whatever you fancy, from mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce to leftover brisket and roasted carrots—or any combo of odds and ends waiting in your fridge—then seal them up with egg wash, brush more on top so they get beautifully golden brown, and pop them in the oven.
In no time, you’ll have a handy little meal perfect for breakfast, lunch, snack time, or dinner, whether on the go or at home.
Here are some specific ideas for fillings and flavors.
This turkey version is full of tender sautéed zucchini and eggplant, plus melty provolone, fresh herbs, and a few dashes of hot sauce and Worcestershire to boost the umami of the savory flavors and add a hint of spice. While it’s a wonderful way to use up your leftover bird, the recipe is also adaptable to whatever other proteins and veggies you have on hand. Get the Turkey Hand Pies recipe.
If you’ve got leftover sweet potatoes, whether mashed or in casserole form, make them into hand pies! (You could even make it more exciting by adding spicy chorizo to the mix, but maybe scrape off the marshmallow layer if it’s there…or leave it in and see what you think.) Get the Leftover Sweet Potato Hand Pies recipe.
This recipe uses one of our favorite shortcut ingredients: frozen puff pastry. (You can also try phyllo for a different kind of crisp crust.) Wrap up leftover cranberry sauce and you can take it sweet or savory as you please; this version adds some cheddar cheese, because fruit and sharp cheddar are always a great match. Get the Cranberry Hand Pies recipe.
If you have extra pumpkin puree, or a dinner crowd that is willing to accept a modified form of the classic pumpkin pie, these chai-spiced pumpkin hand pies with a vanilla glaze are a fantastic choice. You can follow the recipe for more of a fancy Pop Tart look, or use the fold-over method for crescent shapes. Get the Pumpkin Chai Hand Pies recipe.
The other star of the Thanksgiving dessert table, pecan pie in any form is wonderful. If you want to jeuje it up a bit, try a chocolate bourbon pecan hand pies recipe. But for a simple and eternally satisfying classic writ small, these nutty-sweet hand-held treats are perfect. Get the Pecan Hand Pies recipe.