Mini Pumpkin Pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies_plated

Growing up, there were several dishes that only made the menu on certain holidays. Honey baked ham at Easter, monkey bread on Christmas morning, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. That was it. If you were absent, sick, or just forgot to grab a bite, you had 365 days until you got another shot.

You can probably imagine the chaos that filled the home with 18 – 50 people all vying for the same piece of bread or slice of pie at the same time. Let’s not forget about the “her slice is bigger” or “he got more monkey bread than me” argument. Cue the “it’s not fair” whining and you have a fantastic start to the day. The way we’d cry and argue, you would think we were starved the rest of the year or that there wasn’t plenty to go around. We weren’t and there was. We simply understood just how special these dishes were and wanted to get our fill. If that meant a sister or cousin didn’t get his or hers, then so be it. Survival of the fittest.

We do better now.

To avoid such chaos and mayhem at my son’s daycare (they have a Thanksgiving lunch and every family brings something), I opted for individual pumpkin pies (we were signed up for pumpkin pie). This way, each serving was identical and, big bonus for the caregivers, no knife cutting or messy serving. In fact, these are most definitely finger food so no forks needed!

As you can see, I opted against the traditional dallop of whipped cream per my husband’s suggestion. I guess he felt that a bunch of kids under the age of 5 probably didn’t need the extra sugar right before nap time.

With or without the whipped cream, these mini pumpkin pies are delicious. Just be careful, they go down way too easily!

Mini Pumpkin Pies_stacked

We have taken these to several parties and get-togethers this season and they have always been a hit with kids and adults alike. It’s a bonus that they are so easy, if a bit time consuming. Though, if you use store bought, ready to go mini shells, your workload will be cut by 3/4. I don’t think the ready-made shells taste quite as good – they tend to be tougher and crispier – but that is just my humble opinion.

I am thinking of capitalizing upon the success of these mini pumpkin pies and giving a boxed assortment to friends, family, colleagues this holiday season. What do you think?

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Mini Pumpkin Pies_stacked
  • 1 1/2 batches pastry dough (store bought or homemade)
  • Pumpkin pie filling (I use the Libby's recipe on the back of the can)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a rack in the middle.

Prepare the pumpkin pie filling according to the recipe on the back on the can or using your favorite. Set aside.

Roll the pastry dough to about 1/8" thick. Using a small circle cookie cutter (or a glass prep bowl, like I did. Not super efficient or easy, but it gets the job done), cut as many circles as you can fit. Pull up the excess dough. Place each circle into one of the mini muffin tins.

Note: To prevent the dough from getting too warm, a good practice is to cut it in half. Work with one half while leaving the other wrapped in saran wrap in the fridge.

Repeat the roll, cut, pick up, & place process until you have filled the entire tray.

Using a tablespoon, fill each mini pie crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.

Allow them to cool in the tin for 5 - 10 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack until they reach room temperature.

I have found that 1 batch of dough makes about 30 mini pies, but there is always leftover filling. You can either dump the filling or get the second batch of dough and do another round (hence the extra 1/2 dough in the ingredient list).

If you do this, you will have about 1/2 of the second dough leftover. You can use mini cookie cutters to cut leaves or other seasonal shapes to place on top of the mini pies while baking for an extra festive kick.

Serve with whipped cream.

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