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Mini Pumpkin Pies are the perfect individual dessert for the holidays! And these aren't just any mini pumpkin pies, they're baked in mini pumpkins with a tender flaky crust on top!
One thing led to another.
The idea to make these mini pumpkin pies started with a friend's birthday party, Barb and her once-a-year soup where the pumpkin is the tureen.
You may remember my riff on the recipe as individual Savory Bread Pudding Pumpkin tureens.
The inspiration kept coming: Molly made a pumpkin into a terrarium and Victoria turned one pumpkin into a lantern and baked a cake inside another and of course you can't go wrong with Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, particularly when there's a Gingersnap Crust involved using homemade Gingersnap Cookies.
Then I realized that I'd never seen a mini pumpkin pie - in a pumpkin, that is. And why not?
Why not, indeed. I made them and you know what? They are amazing.
How to Make Mini Pumpkin Pies:
Step 1: You start with mini-pumpkins.
Step 2: You cut off the tops, scoop out the seeds, and fill them just as you would a crust if you were making a pumpkin pie.
Step 3: When you've baked them until the filling is beginning to set and the squash is nearly tender, you top them with crust and bake them some more.
Then, if you're me, it dawns on you that you have 6 mini pies and just 2 people who live in the house - a dangerous combination. But then you realize that you have friends who live across the street who might like pie.
Jeff wasn't home, so he may or may not have tried these. But Lucy, Parker and Matthew approved.
Mini Pumpkin Pies
- 6 small pumpkins 3 to 4-inches in diameter
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15-ounce can puree not pie filling)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour 142g, or all-purpose if you prefer
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup non-hydrogenated shortening such as Spectrum
- 4 tablespoons ice water
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a large baking dish with parchment paper.
- Carefully cut the tops off the pumpkins, leaving a level top and access to cavity inside. Scoop out seeds and membrane. Arrange pumpkins in a single layer in prepared baking dish.
- In a glass measuring pitcher (4-cup or larger), combine pumpkin puree and next 7 ingredients (brown sugar through allspice); stir to combine. Add eggs and heavy cream; stir until smooth.
- Pour filling into pumpkins until nearly full, but not spilling out.
- Bake 35 minutes.
- While the pumpkins are baking, make the crust.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Add shortening; cut in with a pastry blender or two knives until shortening pieces are the size of large peas. Sprinkle ice water over mixture, one tablespoon at a time, gently tossing with a fork, until moistened. Press dough into a ball and transfer to lightly floured work surface.
- Press dough ball into a disk and cut into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a round, large enough to cover each pumpkin top. Flute edges of round and pierce center several times with a fork. With a thin spatula, transfer round to parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough pieces, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Once pumpkins have baked for 35 minutes, remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 400 °F.
- Carefully top each pumpkin with a dough round. Once the oven has reached temperature, return pumpkins to oven and bake 30 minutes more.
- Allow to cool slightly, then serve.