Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Half Moons

Awww! Aren’t they cute!! We had Matt’s sister, her husband and our adorable nephew over for dinner last week. We served blue cheese and spinach stuffed pork tenderloin with creamy truffle and brie grits. For dessert, I really wanted to do something fall-ish. So I bought some canned pure pumpkin and decided I would figure it out from there. When I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Half Moon Pockets, I knew that would be the winner, as I had a puff pastry calling my name in the freezer. These were sooooo good! Served with some butter pecan ice cream, they were the perfect complement to dinner.

I halved this recipe, which made about 10 pockets. My changes are as follows:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, 9 1/2 inches square
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

For the pumpkin filling:
1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin (not seasoned pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Remove the puff pastry from the box, setting on a lightly floured surface, and covering it with plastic wrap. Do not unfold at this point. Let the covered puff pastry sit on the counter top until thawed and just pliable, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, position the oven rack on the middle rung. Heat to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick liner. Have the beaten egg ready, along with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.

On a lightly floured work surface, carefully unfold the puff pastry. Dust the top of the pastry with a little flour. Roll out the sheet, lightly dusting with flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and work surface, into a 12 inch square. Using a 4 inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a 29-oz tomato can as a guide), cut out 9-10 circles by firmly pressing the cookie cutter or can into the dough, then twisting slightly. Peel away the scraps of extra dough and cover the rounds with plastic wrap while preparing the filling.

For the pumpkin filling, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well blended.

Place about 1 tablespoon of filling on the center of a round. Brush the edge of the dough with the egg. Fold half the dough over the filling to form a half-moon.

Using the tines of a fork, press the curved edges to seal tightly. Repeat with the remaining rounds. At this point the pockets can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 8 hours or frozen for up to 1 month before proceeding.

Arrange the pockets on the prepared sheet pan, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with the remaining egg and sprinkle evenly (and generously) with the granulated sugar.

Bake until pasty is puffed and browned, 15-20 minutes, checking on them frequently after 10 minutes has passed (in case your oven cooks them faster.) Transfer the sheet pats to racks to cool. Serve warm… with ice cream.

Storage: You can bake the pockets up to 6 hours ahead and reheat them in a 300 degree oven until warm, about 10-15 minutes.

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