The great pie debate rages in our house around the Holidays. With the five of us the only family we have in the Seattle area, we lose the luxury of making a few different, full-sized pies for a large group to eat. In one corner, there’s the apple pie contingent, in other, the die-hard pumpkin pie fans and then the tiny gang of me and me alone that thinks pecan when it comes to holiday pie perfection. We solved this problem not too long ago when we took to making individual pies in mason jars and muffin tins. Besides satisfying multiple tastes, the uncooked ingredients, as well as the fully baked mini pies, store well for a few days in the refrigerator in an airtight container or in the freezer for a couple of months. Peace shines over the holiday pie village and everyone gets their own little favorite…pretty much perfect. These diminutive little pumpkin pies are based on our ginger-spice pumpkin pie recipe, which means they’re made from fresh, organic sugar pumpkin puree from our own kitchen. From their silky smooth texture to their subtle kick from just enough cardamom and fresh-grated ginger, these individual serving sized muffin tin pies are a memorable holiday dessert you’ll get gold stars for. You can substitute your favorite pie crust recipe in place of our whole wheat recipe, but I’d recommend going with ours. It has a perfect, hardy texture to compliment the smooth and spicy pumpkin filling and the structure holds up well to removal and serving.
Yields: 12 Muffin Tin Pies or 8-10 Mason Jar Pumpkin Pies Time: 15 minutes to prep the mix and make pie crusts, 45 minutes to bake.
You can easily adapt this to a mason jar pie recipe. Simply follow the crust instructions from our apple and pecan pie in mason jars post, and increase the bake time to 10 minutes at 425 degrees (f)/ 200(c), and 35 minutes at 350 degrees (f)/ 180 (c).
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (f)/ 200 (c). You’ll lower this to 350 degrees (f)/ 180 (c) after 10 minutes.
2 Cup whole wheat flour
1 Cup organic all-purpose flour
4 tsp organic sugar
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted, organic butter-cut into 10(-ish) pieces
5-8 Tbsp cold organic milk (whole, 1%, 2%..all fine)
2 Cups of organic pumpkin puree..click here for our made from scratch recipe
1 1/2 Cups organic heavy cream
1/2 Cup organic brown sugar
1/3 Cup organic sugar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 organic Eggs plus 1 yolk
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Whisk the flours, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Both the wheat flour and the salt can be too large for your sifter…a whisk is just as good. Add the butter pieces at once. DO NOT start mixing with your fingers. I found this to be a contributor to some of my crust failures-it warms the butter (so technically according to my wife, I could possibly use my toes..but keep them on my side of the bed otherwise) and weakens the protein structure holding that creates the dough. Instead, take a pastry blender and start cutting into the butter and flour, moving it to the side of the bowl as you work. When you have a consistency of pea sized flour, add the cold milk 1 Tbsp at a time and continue to cut in, being sure to get all the ingredients involved by working to the side of your bowl. Check the dough between each addition of cold milk. When you can pinch a small amount from a little ball to a flat dough without a lot of breaking up, you’re there. I ‘ve yet to use less than 5 Tbsp or more than 6 Tbsp so I recommend you do a check at both. If you’re not going to roll it into a crust immediately, form it into a ball (or two), place it in a plastic ziplock bag or plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator until you’re ready.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, except for the heavy cream and eggs. Stir thoroughly until completely combined. In a small, separate bowl, mix the heavy cream and eggs. Slowly add the cream and egg mixture to the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the filling into the prepared crusts/jars. If you need a great pumpkin puree from scratch recipe, check out our post on homemade puree from sugar pumpkins.
Fill and Prepare Your Muffin Tin: Pinch a slightly smaller than palm sized piece of dough from your pie crust and roll it into a ball. Lightly spray the muffin tin with non-stick canola oil, making sure to spray the top of the tin as well (to keep the top edges of the crust from baking to the top of the pan). Place the ball of crust into the bottom of the muffin, press flat then begin to work the excess up the sides at uniform thickness. You should leave about a 1/8″ crust at the top. Fill each muffin tin with the pie filling, up to about 3/4 full.
OR: Fill and Prepare your Mason Jars: Pinch about a palm sized piece of dough from your pie crust and roll into a ball. Set the dough ball into the mason jar and work into the bottom and up the sides, just short of the top of the jar, keeping the thickness consistent. Pour the filling about 3/4 of the way up to the top of the pie crust. Make sure and leave enough space to screw the lid on the jar for storage later if you’re not going to eat the pie right away.
Bake: At 425 for 10 minutes, then reduce your oven temperature to 350 and bake an additional 25 minutes for muffin tin pies, or 35 minutes for mason jar pies. Your pies are done when a toothpick inserted into their centers comes out clean. Enjoy.
Our home made whipped cream topping is perfect for these. Grab that recipe here.