It took me a long time to come around to pumpkin pie. I’ve always been much more attracted to pecan pies during the holidays, especially if they’re loaded down wit extra goodies like chocolate chips. Maybe it was the texture, maybe it was the fact that this pie is made from a vegetable, or maybe it’s just the the lack of chocolate, but I almost never feel that hankering for pumpkin that most do around this time of year.
However, the times have totally changed. Although there is no way I will ever be able to turn down a piece of chocolate chip pecan pie, I now will always hope it is accompanied by a sliver of pumpkin pie. Here’s the issue with developing a love of something: I really don’t want to share. Now that I’ve finally caught on to pumpkin pie, I feel like I should get to hog it all to myself. After all, everyone else has been enjoying this stuff for years and I need to catch up!
These little pies are the perfect solution – I can pick up my own little pies and have them all to myself, without any slicing or dividing involved. Even better, their small size make it easy to think of excuses to have pumpkin pie throughout the day. As a snack, an after-dinner treat or as a early morning breakfast on the go. Who knew whipped cream would taste so good at 7am?
Mini Pumpkin Pies with Spiced Whipped Cream
Crust and filling recipes adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
Makes 12 small pies
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
1 15oz can pumpkin
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon shaved nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup half and half or milk
Spiced Whipped Cream:
½ cup heavy or whipping cream
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
For the crust:
In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and butter. Pulse until the flour begins to look like course bread crumbs (there should still be pea-size chunks of butter in the dough).
Transfer the flour mixture into a mixing bowl and slowly add in the water, mixing it as you go until the all of the flour is moistened. I use my hands for this step but you can also use a fork to distribute the water.
Pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 30 seconds. Form the dough into a small round disk, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and roll out until it is roughly a 9×13 rectangle. It should be pretty thin. Using a large glass or cup (roughly 4-5 inches in diameter), cut out circles of dough and mold them into the muffin cups. You will probably need to re-roll the dough out once or twice in order to use it all up. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the filling:
Meanwhile, Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Beat in the eggs until just combined and then stir in the milk or cream.
Remove the refrigerated muffin baking sheet. Carefully pour filling into the pastry shells, until they are almost full but don’t go above the top of the crust. Cover the sheet lightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a pie comes out clean.
Remove the pies from the oven and gently transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool. You may share if you like, or hog them all to yourself.
For the whipped cream:
Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form in the cream. Spoon as much as you wish over baked pies.