Pumpkin Frangipane Shells

Fall-flavored pastries dreaming of a beach vacation. # 274: Pumpkin Frangipane Shells

The Harry Potter nerd in me really really wants to call these pumpkin pasties, but it seemed like too much of a stretch, with both the shape and the filling. Even though the ones you can get on the Hogwarts Express are most likely filled with sweet pumpkin custard, unlike a traditional savory Cornish pasty, they probably wouldn’t involve frangipane.

Ok also: why does the trolley seem to be only stocked with candy, despite the fact that the journey on the Hogwarts Express lasts from lunch time til past sunset? Probably more likely that we only ever hear about the candy since our narrators are teenagers. But I digress.

I saw the pastry shape idea on Manon Lagrève’s Instagram and immediately wanted to try it! Her tutorial is for closed shells, but I found some truly epic candied hazelnuts in Croatia and had to make some open shells to show them off.

It’s yet another version of my favorite pastry: the glorious little hand pie. It’s the perfect snack size and has an ideal crust-to-filling ratio. The more cinnamon-y butter crust in each bite, the better!

I’m so pleased that they held the design post-bake. I need to give chilled butter more credit – I doubt it every time!

Took a texture risk and added pumpkin into a regular frangipane recipe. The gamble paid off! The nutty richness paired so well with the pumpkin spices I might have to make these an October tradition.

I worked in the butter before the rest of the wet ingredients, but it was still a little lumpy since I was blending it by hand.

A little more rustic than it would’ve been if I had used the stand mixer… but mixing small batch recipes with a wooden spoon is just so satisfying. This is my weekly reminder that this hobby is a form of therapy and the results don’t have to be perfect.

I used my absolute favorite all-butter cinnamon pie crust:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 12 TBs chilled butter
  • 0.25 cups ice water

If it’s chilled enough, I’ve found I can roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper without any extra flour. Like magic! Unless you like a flour snowstorm in your kitchen, then go right ahead.

Manon used the teeth of a comb to create the shell lines, but this squiggly veggie chopper worked just as well. Not sure why I call it a veggie chopper when I’ve only ever used it for pastry . . . shh don’t tell Oxo!


Voila – a shell!

When I watched Manon’s video for the first time where she shaped these, I audibly gasped with delight when it transformed from a circle to a squished butterfly to a shell! As someone who picks up too many shells on the beach, it was love at first sight.

Happy munching!

Frangipane recipe from Manon Lagrève’s Instagram

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