Pumpkin pie is a holiday staple. However, isn’t it the best when everyone gets their own mini pumpkin pie (cup-pies)? (Note: Mini sweet potato pies are also a favorite of mine.)
Here’s What the mini pumpkin pie recipe tasters had to say:
- My father was in town from NY to taste the pumpkin pie recipe. If it seems like I am always having out of town guests from somewhere, it’s true. Dad said that the pumpkin pies were one of the best pastries he has ever had. This is not only because he’s my dad. He also tried the Soda Fountain cupcakes (which were picked by Bride and Groom 1.0 for their wedding) and openly admitted that he didn’t like them at all. He is not shy with opinions.
- My mom and aunt also tried the mini pumpkin pies. They were in town the weekend after my dad. This means that the mini pumpkin pies were already a week old (I kept them in the fridge). I didn’t think they were quite as good as they were when they were fresh. However, my relatives loved them. The cup-pies, however, were not their favorite. I had frozen some Better Than Sex chocolate cupcakes for them and they both thought that nothing could compare to the chocolate.
- Bride 2.0 said “mmmmm… pumpkin.”
- Groom 2.0 said that they couldn’t choose them for their wedding because they weren’t actually cupcakes. Bah humbug!
The Pumpkin Pie Crust Recipe
Back in January, the St. Louis food bloggers got together and took a pie class at Kitchen Conservatory. The photo on the left is from Iron Stef’s write-up of the event. I’m the redhead in the front. Next to me is Karen of FamilyStyle Food and next to her is Alanna, the esteemed host of Pi Day. The class was a blast, however I definitely felt like the class klutz. I was the one who cut myself using the apple peeler/corer and ended up going home with a band-aid. Note that my mini pie doesn’t feature apples. Also note that I am the only one in the picture not wearing an apron. Why wear an apron when you can get flour all over yourself? I’m such the rebel!
Our instructor, Anne, had some rules that she pounded into our heads.
1. Don’t overwork the dough. (She held our hands behind our backs to keep us from touching it.)
2. Don’t add too much water.
When I made my mini pumpkin pies, I broke both of these rules. Did it effect the quality of the pie crust? Maybe, but none of my tasters could tell. I even got the thumbs up from a friend who prides herself on her pie crusts.
The details on how to make this pie crust are laid out very clearly on Kitchen Parade, complete with step by step pictures. I made one intentional modification. I refuse to use Crisco so I used all butter. My other modification was not planned. I ended up using 18 T of water instead of 2-4. I couldn’t get the dough to stick together at all without adding more and more water. My teacher would not be proud.
Lesson: Don’t worry about getting it 100% right. No one will know the difference except you.
Here is the recipe from Kitchen Parade with my modifications:
- 18 T ice water (This was where her recipe said 2-4 T)
- 2 c flour
- 2 t sugar
- 1 t salt
- 2 sticks (1 c) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Stir together 1 cup of flour, sugar, and salt. With hand-held pastry blender, cut 1/2 of the butter into the four until butter is dime-sized. (I didn’t have a pastry blender so I just used my hands.) Add the rest of the butter the same way. Lightly stir in the remaining flour. Add water one T at a time until the dough just sticks together. Wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Note: This is one of the few recipes that I have not made in my Kitchen Aid. I learned from Anne that butter should not be fully integrated and the Kitchen Aid would have done just that.
The Pumpkin Pie Filling Recipe
I found the pumpkin pie filling recipe on Allrecipes. It had many, many (561) fantastic reviews so I decided to give it a go. I have reprinted it with my comments below.
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold into pumpkin mixture.
The Streusel Topping Recipe
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c packed brown sugar
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 2 T butter, chilled
- 1 c chopped walnuts (I used pecans simply because I like them better.)
In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Blend in the cold butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the chopped nuts. This made almost twice as much as topping as I needed. Unless you want a ton of topping, you might consider cutting this in half.
Putting Your Mini Pies Together
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). You will not be baking at this temperature. However, you want to make your oven nice and hot. This, as I learned in my pie class, is extremely important. Line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liners. I made about 30 cup-pies with this recipe. I baked the 24 and then the extra six. If you have 3 tins at the ready you can do it all at once. Also, I expect the number you will get to vary depending on the intricacies of dough thickness and pumpkin pie filling height.
Remove half of the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 3 1/2 inch diameter circle cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles. If you don’t have a cookie cutter that width, see if you have a glass you can use or you can experiment with different widths. Press the center of your circle into the bottom of a cupcake liner and work the rest into the bottom of the liner and up the sides. It should come about 3/4 of the way up the side. I experimented with different heights and found this to be the most pleasing to me, but higher or lower won’t destroy anything. Repeat the same procedure with the other half of the dough.
Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the pie dough cups. Each cup should be slightly more than halfway full.
Lower the oven temp to 375. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the streusel topping over each cup-pie. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the pie is set (doesn’t wiggle around when you touch it.)
The Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting Swirl
I topped each cup-pie with a small swirl of vanilla bean buttercream frosting. The vanilla bean buttercream frosting recipe can be found here.
Pi Day Footnote
Alanna over at Kitchen Parade is hosting pi (3.14) day. Alanna is our St. Louis food blogger social director and is a mentor to me as I build this blog. I had to participate. She’s the reason why I made these mini pumpkin pies.