I have never made pies, full-sized or mini. Don't get me wrong, I love pie. I want nothing more than to be able to form a perfectly flakey crust with a beautifully woven top. But honestly, I've always thought it was pretty time consuming. Just haven't been up to the challenge until this year.
However, Thanksgiving is around the corner! So I decided to give it a go... starting off with tiny little pies that fit in the palm of your hand. Perhaps this is a new chapter for me. Now I just want to try and make as many pies & mini pies as possible. If you're a pie novice like me, this is a great recipe to get your feet wet. Plus, they are pretty freaking adorable. Bring them to your next potluck. Wrap them up in little treat bags and gift them - force them onto your friends (like I do with all of my blog post foods). Or serve them with some whipped cream on top & a spot of tea for a party of one!
Ingredients: (crust) 1/2 cup butter (melted) 2 cups crushed graham crackers 1/2 cup brown sugar
(pumpkin pie filling) 2 cups pumpkin puree 1/2 cup milk 2 eggs 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon clove 1/4 teaspoon ginger 2 tablespoons cinnamon lemon zest
For the crust: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Melt butter over low heat and set aside. You can crush the graham crackers with a food processor. I just put them in a ziploc bag and crushed them by hand. (I was catching up on a couple episodes of Blacklist...) Mix the brown sugar & graham crackers into the melted butter until well-incorporated. I found it easier to knead everything together with my hands. Messy? Yes. Effective? Yes. I used silicone baking cups (used for cupcakes) to form the crust. Line a cupcake pan with the silicone cups. Scoop a spoonful of the graham cracker mixture into the cup. Use your hands to press the mixture into the bottom/sides of the cup, forming a shell. Don't be afraid to use a little elbow grease! You want a somewhat dense shell, something sturdy! Fill all cups and form shells!
Note: I actually forgot to par bake my crusts in my initial run of this recipe. They turned out fine, but I'm sure the crust would have been crispier had I par-baked. Next time, I will definitely bake the crusts before filling them for about 10 minutes. If you want to give it a try, please do and let me know how it goes!
For the pie filling: Easy. Combine everything in a mixing bowl. Whisk together so that there are no lumps and everything is fully incorporated.
Assemble & Bake! Scoop the pie filling into your graham cracker crust cups! Leave about half an inch of space. Into the oven for about 15 minutes! Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 35-40 minutes. The consistency of the pie filling should be firm, but still a teensy but wobbly. Remove silicone cups from pan and set on a cooling rack. The pies will continue to set as they cool. Enjoy at room temperature with whipped cream!
More pies coming soon. Blueberry? Apple? Peach? My aim is to make the perfect pies for our Thanksgiving feast. And I don't know, someone told me that practice makes perfect or something. But who the hell knows if that's true. Time to put in my 100,000 hours!