Mini Pumpkin Pies are the perfect, easy dessert for Halloween parties or any Fall holiday dessert tray!
I love mini desserts – and these Mini Pumpkin Pies are no exception! Wouldn’t you smile too if you saw a tray full of these cute little jack o’ lanterns smiling up at you from the dessert table at your next party?
All of the credit for today’s delicious recipe should go to my husband Jack. My daughter and I were out running errands one recent Saturday morning – and when I came home, Jack was baking these mini pies! (It really is so awesome to have a husband who loves to cook and bake!)
For this mini pumpkin pie recipe, Jack used his own homemade pie crust – a rich, buttery crust recipe that bakes up perfectly tender and flaky. (For a short cut, you could use a store-bought pie crust if you have to, but this homemade crust is so much better – and it’s not difficult to make!) The rounds of pie crust get nestled inside muffin tins to help these little pumpkin pies keep their shape as they bake.
The filling for these mini pumpkin pies is also very delicious – with both pumpkin purée AND cream cheese mixed with sugar, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spices. That little bit of cream cheese added to the filling really gives these mini pumpkin pies a wonderfully firm but still creamy texture.
Before baking, Jack added little jack o’ lantern faces to each of the mini pumpkin pies, plus an egg wash and a little extra sprinkle of sugar and pumpkin pie spice to give the baked mini pies a golden color. Bake until firm then allow to cool slightly before serving.
I think these cute little Mini Pumpkin Pies are best served slightly warm or at room temperature right after baking, but you can prepare them ahead of time – just chill them in an air tight container up to a day before you plan to serve them. (Place them in a warm oven for a few minutes to serve them slightly warm.)
Also – if serving for Thanksgiving – feel free to skip the jack o’ lantern faces if you’d like and top with a dollop of whipped cream instead.
If you like these mini pumpkin pies, you may also like this recipe:
Mini Pumpkin Pies are the perfect, easy dessert for Halloween or any Fall dessert tray!
1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Up to ½ cup ice water
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) – or make your own
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Cut butter into slices and lay out on a plate. Place the plate in the freezer for ten minutes.
In a food processor, place flour, salt and sugar and pulse to combine.
Place butter pieces in by dropping around the flour so each piece is covered in flour without sticking to each other. Pulse until the butter is pea sized.
Add half the water and pulse a few times. Then add up to the full amount until the dough starts to come together but is still crumbly. Pour out onto an un-floured counter and form into a disc. You may need to work it a bit to get all of the dry pieces into the dough but do not over work the dough.
Wrap the disc in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.
While the dough is chilling, in a medium bowl, place canned pumpkin, softened cream cheese, both sugars, whole egg, egg yolks and vanilla and with a firm whisk, mix to combine.
In a small bowl, mix flour, spice and pepper and add to the pumpkin mixture, again whisking to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
After the dough sits in the refrigerator for an hour, flour your counter and roll the dough out to 1/8th inch thick. (At least 14”X18”).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Using a 4” round cutter, cut out 12 circles. Do not discard extra dough. Press each circle into a non-stick 12-cup cupcake pan up to the edge of each cup, pressing down and up the sides.
Divide the filling between the 12 prepared cups.
If decorating for Halloween, cut 5 strips of flattened dough into ½ inch wide strips, six inches long. Using a knife or bench scraper, make back and forth angle cuts down four of the strips making triangles for the eyes and nose. Place these on each filled cup in the design of a jack-o-lantern. The fifth strip will be used for the stem so set that aside for now. If not decorating for Halloween, eliminate this and the stem step.
Mix the egg with the water with a fork and using a brush, slightly brush each triangle face piece and the outer edge of dough on each cup with the egg wash.
In a small cup, mix sugar with the spice and sprinkle over each of the eyes and nose pieces.
Finally take the last strip and cut it into 12 stems and place at the top of each cup, overlapping the edge and onto the filling off to a slight angle like a stem. Do not brush these. You want them to bake up a different shade than the eyes and nose pieces.
Bake for 20 minutes and remove to a cooling rack for five minutes. After five minutes, remove each one to the rack to cool further.
Note: If baking the mini pumpkin pie for the holidays instead of Halloween, omit the jack o’ lantern face along with the spices and sugar on top if you prefer. However still add the egg wash to the rim of each pie.
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