Pastry rounds are pressed into muffin tins and filled with ginger- and vanilla-perfumed pears. The resulting hand pies are small but indulgent.

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Ingredients

Crust
Filling
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Crust:

    Combine flour, salt, butter, and cream cheese in a food processor; pulse until pea-size clumps form.

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  • With machine running, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture just comes together when pressed in your hand. Divide in half; shape each half into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

  • Filling:

    Whisk together eggs and 2/3 cup granulated sugar in a medium bowl until thick and pale yellow. Whisk in flour, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  • In a shallow saucepan, heat 1 stick butter, vanilla seeds, and ginger over medium-high until butter foams and browns, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into bowl with egg mixture, discarding solids. Whisk until well combined.

  • Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until pears are soft, about 5 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes. Fold pear mixture into egg mixture.

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to a scant 1/8 inch thick. Using a 5-inch round cutter or a paring knife, cut out 5 rounds. Repeat with remaining disk. Gently press rounds into 10 cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin, making pleats around edges and gently pressing to seal. Fill each with 1/4 cup filling. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until crust and filling are golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer tin to a wire rack; let cool about 20 minutes. Unmold; let pies cool completely on rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

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