Since I'm currently experiencing that annual can't-get-enough-pumpkin phenomena, and since it's been ages since I put up a WDW of this nature, may I present to you Mini Pumpkin Pies. If these aren't the cutest things ever, I don't know what is.
The recipe calls for baking them in regular size muffin tins, but I wanted them bite-sized, so I used my mini muffin tin. I just adapted the recipe and made smaller rounds of dough (I used the top of a 8 oz jelly jar to cut them) and cooked them for only 15-20 minutes. I will say that they are a little bit of work, but I love pie making so I enjoyed the process.
And, incidentally, have you ever tasted a warm-from-the-oven bite of pumpkin pie? I have always considered myself a die-hard cold pumpkin pie eater (particularly the morning after Thanksgiving -it's seriously the perfect breakfast) until these arrived on the scene today. What can I say, they are just so easy to pop in your mouth, I actually discovered that they are mighty tasty that way. You ought to try it. :-)
The recipe included a spiced whipped cream to dollop on top, but I didn't have enough whipping cream on hand to try it. It sounds heavenly though!
Mini Pumpkin Pies with Spiced Whipped CreamMakes 12 small pies (or 48 mini muffin sized)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
8-9 tablespoons cold water
1 15oz can pumpkin
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use Penzey's Vietnamese)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup half and half or whole milk
Spiced Whipped Cream:
½ cup heavy or whipping cream
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
For the crust:
In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and butter. Pulse until the flour begins to look like course bread crumbs (there should still be pea-size chunks of butter in the dough).
Transfer the flour mixture into a mixing bowl and slowly add in the water, mixing it as you go until the all of the flour is moistened. I use my hands for this step but you can also use a fork to distribute the water.
Pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 30 seconds. Form the dough into two small round disks, cover each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator, and roll out until it is roughly a 9×13 rectangle. It should be pretty thin. Using a large glass or cup (roughly 4-5 inches in diameter), cut out circles of dough and mold them into the muffin cups. You will probably need to re-roll the dough out once or twice in order to use it all up. Repeat with remaining dough.
For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Beat in the eggs until just combined and then stir in the milk or cream.
Carefully pour filling into the pastry shells, until they are almost full but don’t go above the top of the crust. Cover the sheet lightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a pie comes out clean (Note: I baked for 15-20 minutes uncovered for the minis. I also did the pies in two batches since I only own one mini muffin pan that only holds 24).
Remove the pies from the oven and gently transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
For the whipped cream:
Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form in the cream. Spoon as much as you wish over baked pies.