5 Pie Recipes Every 20-Something Should Know

Baking a pie from scratch can be totally terrifying any time, but attempting it for a holiday gathering really ups the fear factor. But, we're here to help with five pie hacks that transform the classics into recipes we actually feel confident making. A couple of them only take five minutes from start to finish — yes, really! So whether you're new to holiday baking or just need a couple of time-saving tricks to make it through the stressful season, we've got you covered with a slew of simple, so-tasty recipes.

Pumpkin Pies That Will Fit Right In Your Hand

Photographed by Danny Kim; Food Styling by Michelle Gatton; Prop Styling by Gozde Eker.
If making an entire pie feels too cumbersome, making these mini hand pies is a fun and easy way to get your bake on, while still reaping rewards of all the things you love about pie — warm, flaky crust and flavorful, gooey insides. You'll have leftover pumpkin puree with this recipe, but there's another fun hack linked below to help turn it into ice cream.

Mini Pumpkin Hand Pies

Makes 24 mini pies

2 boxes pre-made refrigerated pie dough sheets
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 tbsp butter
2 tsbp sugar
1 tbsp Refinery29 Pumpkin Pie Spice, plus more for topping

For Spice Coating

1/4 cup melted butter
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and cook until it dissolves. Then add the pumpkin puree and spices and cook over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 10 minutes — if the pumpkin is too watery it will leak out of the hand pies! Then, remove from heat.
3. Unroll the dough. Use a 4-inch circle shaped cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out circles from the sheets of dough. (If you don’t have a cookie cutter you can use a clean, empty tuna can.)

4. Spoon about a teaspoon of the pumpkin mixture into the middle of each circle. Fold the circle in half and crimp the open edge with a fork to seal. Brush the hand pies with melted butter.

5. Then “paint” on dry spices with a moistened pastry brush. There will be a lot of pumpkin left over, save it for another use (like this pumpkin ice cream).
6. Bake on large cookie sheets for 12-15 minutes, or until browned and crispy.