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Spinach Jack-O’-Lantern Hand Pies

Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

Turns out that spinach wrapped in pie dough passes the picky-eater test! For these Halloween riffs on the classic calzone, use 4- by 5-in. pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters (find at cooking or craft stores and online). Or cut out a pumpkin-shaped template from paper, set it on the dough, and cut around it with a thin, sharp knife.

 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
 1/2 cup chopped onion
  Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
 1/2 pound baby spinach leaves
 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
 1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta
 2 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese
 1 large egg yolk
 1/4 teaspoon natural orange food coloring (or a mix of yellow and red to make orange)*
 1 pkg. (14.1 oz.) refrigerated pie pastry, at room temperature
Step 1

Preheat oven to 400Ā°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2

Heat oil in a large deep-frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, a pinch each of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Pour cooked spinach into a fine-mesh strainer and drain well, pressing to release as much liquid as possible.

Step 3

Coarsely chop spinach mixture. Scrape into a medium bowl and stir in ricotta and parmesan. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Step 4

In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk, 1 tsp. water, and 2 or 3 drops food coloring. The egg wash should be deep orange; add more coloring if needed. Set aside.

Step 5

Unroll pie pastry from package onto a lightly floured work surface. With a 4- by 5-in. pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, cut 8 pumpkins from pastry. Spoon 1/4 cup spinach mixture into middles of 4 pumpkins and spread to 1/4 in. from edge. Brush exposed dough lightly with water. Top filled pumpkins with remaining 4 pumpkin cutouts and crimp edges with a fork to seal.

Step 6

Set pumpkin hand pies on prepared baking sheet and brush with colored egg wash. Cut a jack-o'-lantern face into each. Bake pies until brown and crusty, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a rack, then chill in an airtight container. Bring to room temĀ­perature to serve.

*We used India Tree Nature's Colors, available at well-stocked grocery stores and on

Make ahead: Up to 2 days, chilled airtight.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 486Calories from Fat 57
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g48%

Saturated Fat 8.5g43%
Cholesterol 56mg19%
Sodium 513mg22%
Total Carbohydrate 41g14%

Dietary Fiber 3g12%
Protein 10g20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.