Even though my mother made exquisite pies of all kinds, most of the pumpkin pies we ate growing up were store bought. I don’t think my mom is particularly fond of pumpkin pies and since my parents usually won a pie or two every year at the local turkey trot, my mom rarely had a reason to make an obligatory one for Thanksgiving. Having only had super market bakery pies, in my mind, pumpkin pie was okay at best. It wasn’t until I married Noel and he insisted we attempt to make a pumpkin pie 100% from scratch that I came to really appreciate the potential of a pumpkin pie. At first I was convinced that he was insane, but we were newlyweds, so I decided to humor him. That pie turned out to be one of the best pies I have ever eaten and my opinions on pumpkin pie were forever changed.
When planning refreshments for a church women’s social this month, my thoughts gravitated to fall flavors like pumpkin, apple, and pecan and since it was for a gathering of women I knew mini pies would be the perfect “awww” inducing dessert. This particular pie filling doesn’t have an extensive ingredient list and you may be alarmed at the lack of spices, but don’t let that bother you. The pie is sweetened with maple syrup which gives it a depth of flavor that is pleasing in its own right.
Mini Pumpkin Pies
- 1 pie crust
- 5 oz pumpkin puree
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 1 TBSP brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 C milk (I have also used almond milk in this recipe with great success.)
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Grease the entire mini muffin pan, including the top so the pies will slide right out even if the filling bubbles over. I have a 24 cup mini muffin pan so I can make the entire batch all at once.
- Roll out the dough and cut 24 circles using a cookie cutter, the rim of a small glass, or even a knife if you can’t find anything appropriately sized. A tip for choosing your crust cutter is you want it to be at least 1/4″ wider in diameter than the holes of the muffin tin. I used one of my children’s cups. Shot glasses would probably be another good option.
- Carefully transfer the circles to the mini muffin pan. Gently press the dough into the well so it’s flush on all sides and there won’t be any air bubbles. Put the mini muffin pan(s) in the fridge to chill while you mix the filling. (Note: You will have extra pie dough. Make some pie crust cookies.)
- Combine pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add eggs; beat lightly with a fork or whisk until combined. Gradually add milk and stir till the mixture is smooth.
- Carefully spoon the filling into the pie crusts. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pan and cook for about 10-12 minutes more or until the crust is golden brown and the center doesn’t jiggle when the pan is lightly shaken.
- Cool until you can touch the pan with your hands and gently remove the individual pies. Top with whipped cream.