I was going to call these individual sized pies, but in fact everyone that encountered them ate more than one, so I’m going with mini instead. 🙂

I went to a Thanksgiving dinner with my former coworkers earlier this week, and I (of course!) immediately decided to bring dessert. Even though I knew I would bake something, it took me forever to decide what that would be. There are so many fall flavors that I love and wanted to include!

What to choose? Pumpkin? Apple? Cranberry? Pecan? After looking through tons of recipes, I realized that I didn’t need to choose! I would make mini-pies in all of my favorite flavors.

I thought that because the three pies were so different, there would be a clear favorite. After sharing with my friends at dinner and later with my best friends’ roommates, it’s pretty clear that all of the pies are delicious. One of my friends had five of them for breakfast.

mini-pies

If that isn’t a commendation of these mini-pies, I don’t know what is. Enjoy!

First, start by making the crust and cranberry sauce at least two hours before you plan to begin making the fillings, so that they have time to rest in the fridge. I would next go to the apple filling, then the pecan, and finally the pumpkin.

Pie Crust (makes 4 pies worth or 48 mini-pies worth)- from Butter Bakery

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Cold water

Destructions:

  1. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and combine. Scatter cubed butter over flour and crumble by hand until the mixture forms coarse, small crumbles, but you can still see some of the butter.
  2. Crack the egg into a liquid measuring cup and add the vinegar. Add enough cold water to reach one cup of liquid, and whisk the mixture until combined. Pour over flour mixture.
  3. Mix with a fork until the dough starts to pull together, and then gently use your hands to combine until the dough stays together when pressed. There will still be pieces of butter throughout.
  4. Shape the dough into four disks of about 1/2″ thick and wrap each disk in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Once the filling is prepared, use a rolling pin to roll one disk out to a circle 1/8″ thick, or about 11″ in diameter, and cut into 12 circles about 3″ in diameter, so that they fit into a muffin tin, re-rolling scraps as needed.
  6. Gently press into muffin tin, making sure that there is no space between the pastry and the bottom or sides of the tin.
  7. Store prepared mini crusts in tins in fridge while preparing pie toppings if not prepared in advance.

mini-pies

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bag frozen cranberries (12 oz)
  • 1 tsp orange zest

Destructions:

  1. Heat water and sugar to a boil until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add in cranberries and simmer for 12 minutes, until berries begin to pop.
  3. Stir in zest and cool, then cover and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 3 cups.

apple-cranberry-tarts

Apple-Cranberry Rose Pie

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples, sliced around the core to 1/8″ or 1/16″ thick
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce

Destructions:

  1. Gently toss apple slices in lemon juice in a large bowl.
  2. Place brown sugar and butter in a small bowl and microwave until butter is just melted. Stir the sugar and butter to combine, and pour over apple slices, mixing to combine. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until the apples are pliable*. If the apples are still rigid, microwave in 15 or 30 second increments until flexible.
  3. Heat oven to 350°F.
  4. Form roses by placing about 8 slices in a straight, 12″ line, with each slice slightly overlapping each other and the peels at the top. Spread some cranberry sauce along the bottom of the apples, which will be the center of the flower. Gently roll apples, starting at one end and using your palm to hold the outside of the rose together.
  5. Place the rose into the pie crust, and top with some cranberries as desired. Repeat until all crusts are filled. (If making one large pie, arrange apple roses in circles in pie crust.)
  6. Back in the oven until apples are cooked and crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Should apples begin to brown while the crust is uncooked, gently top with foil.

Notes:

  • *You can use this time to make the other fillings.
  • If desired, add some cheese on top of the apple slices to make the treat a bit more savory, or to turn it into an appetizer or side dish!

 

Brown Sugar Pecan Pie

pecan-pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract OR 1 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups toasted pecan halves

Destructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut extra crust into decorative shapes.
  2. Line crust with foil or parchment and fill with dry beans or rice and blind bake for about 7 minutes or until set. Remove foil and beans and bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sugar, syrup, eggs, butter, vanilla, and salt with a wire whisk until well blended.
  4. Place muffin tray on a cookie sheet to catch any extra filling. Spread pecans in even layer on bottom of pie shell, then pour wet mixture on top. Place decorative crust on top of mixture.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until filling is golden brown, puffed, and set around edge, but the center still jiggles slightly.
  6. Cool on wire rack.

 

Pumpkin Pie (from Butter Bakery)

pumpkin-pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 can condensed milk (300 mL or about 1.25 cups)

Destructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut extra crust into decorative shapes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and condensed milk until fully combined. (This filling can be kept in the fridge for a day before baking.)
  3. Pour into pie shells until fill, about two large ice cream scoops for mini pies. Arrange decorative crust on top.
  4. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the fillings have set and the center is slightly loose, but a toothpick inserted between the edge of the pie and the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool on a wire rack before serving, and serve with whipped cream.

Notes:

  • If making a normal sized pie (9″), cook for 40-45 minutes.

 

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