Pasties are small turnover-type pies that originated with the miners in Cornwall England; traditionally they were filled with meat and vegetables, but sometimes one end was filled with a sweet filling. Pasties are now served all over England, both sweet and savory, however, I haven’t yet seen a pumpkin one. In order to get the filling inside the pie dough, I found that it had to be thickened, so I microwaved my pumpkin mixture, then scooped the cooked mixture onto my pie crust rounds before sealing them.
I imagine that the pumpkin pasties, which were available on the train as the students were traveling to school at Hogwarts at the beginning of each school year, were a special treat. In my version I have added cream cheese and sprinkled the outside crust with cinnamon sugar. You can use already prepared pie crusts or you can make your own. I found that the rolled pie crusts which are available in the refrigerator section of the grocery store, are very fast and easy. Although I prefer to use homemade crust, the ready rolled crusts are actually quite good and are perfectly acceptable for a busy cook to save time. If I use a 3-inch round cutter, I can get seven rounds from each crust which is the perfect amount for the filling. My kids like them served with a scoop of ice cream.
14 Miniature Pasties
6 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 15 oz. box rolled pie crusts, (2 crusts for 9" pie)
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Place the cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, eggs, and pumpkin in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. If you don’t have a processor, you can use a mixer; mix until smooth. Pour into a greased 1-quart casserole dish, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave 4-6 minutes or until set. Let cool 5-10 minutes.
Spread one of the crusts out onto a flat surface. I like to use a pastry cloth with a little flour rubbed in to prevent sticking. Cut seven 3 inch rounds from the dough; repeat with the other pie crust. You can re-roll the scraps if you like, to make more pasties or just pie cookies. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of each round. Rub a little cold water around the edge of each round, then fold over and seal. Brush the tops of the pasties with the beaten egg mixture, then mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it on the pies. Place the pasties on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375° 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
The pumpkin pasties can be made several weeks ahead, wrapped tightly, and frozen. Although I prefer them at room temperature, they can be reheated in a 300° oven for 10-15 minutes before serving.