Cranberry and orange is such a classic combination and with the addition of cinnamon and rosemary, your kitchen will be filled with the smells of the holidays. I feel like too often cranberry desserts are made too cloyingly sweet to compensate for the natural tartness of cranberries which, to me, is a shame. I intentionally went easy on the sugar for this filling and the result is tangy and bright accented with the citrusy punch of the orange and warm, heady scent of cinnamon which is the perfect match to the buttery, rich crust and herbaceous rosemary. And the mini size is just for the cuteness factor, obviously.
Cranberry Orange + Rosemary Hand Pies
makes about 20 3" hand pies
2 1/2 c flour
3 T sugar
1 t salt
2 t fresh rosemary, finely chopped
8 oz butter (2 sticks), cold and cubed
1/2 c ice water
12 oz fresh cranberries
zest of 1 orange
2 T fresh orange juice, about half an orange
1/2 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c water
1 egg, lightly beaten
tubinado sugar for sprinkling
Make the dough:
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and rosemary in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is course and looks like wet sand. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the ice water until the dough comes together in a ball. Depending on the humidity that day, you may not need all the water. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or two before baking. I made mine the night before. Alternatively, you could also use a pastry cutter and make this dough by hand. I like both methods, it just depends on my mood.
Make the filling:
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. You'll start to hear the cranberries pop. When it begins to boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes until the mixture is thickened and the cranberries have broken down and softened. Let cool before assembling pies.
Make the pies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a small dish of water on hand for sealing the pies. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 1/8th of an inch thick. Using a 3 inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds until you've used up all the dough. Add about 1 tablespoon of the filling on one half of the rounds, making sure to leave a border around the edges to seal the pie. Dip your finger in the water and run it around half of the circle. Fold the round over to cover the filling and press around the edges to seal the pies. You can crimp the edges with a fork if you like, too. Brush lightly with egg wash and lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a little turbinado sugar. Repeat with all the pies. Poke a few small dashes in the top of each pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Bonus: If you happen to have filling left over, don't toss it! You've got a deliciously unique homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving ready to go!