Cute as a button, the Small Pie Baker makes for a wonderful gift, especially when filled with homemade goodness. This year, we are baking up a big batch of these tiny treats, and giving them out to all of our friends who we won’t get to see over the holidays.
The mini pies are a sweet gesture to let our nearest and dearest know that we are thinking of them.
While you can certainly go all out and use your favorite homemade pie crust, this time we took the simple route and used pre-made crusts, which are usually available in packages of two. We found that each package of two yielded enough dough for four mini pies, as long as you use a bit of finesse and a rolling pin.
The filling is an adaptation of what has been referred to as the world’s best Pumpkin Pie. With a custardy base and the addition of maple syrup and yams, this pie simply cannot be beat!
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can*
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 2 rolled, pre-made pie crusts
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, and place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cream, milk, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla.
- Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams until thick and shiny, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream mixture. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. Use a rubber spatula to press the solids through the strainer. Re-whisk mixture.
- Unroll one pie crust and place in a Small Pie Baker. Trim around the edges, cutting away the excess dough. Form the extra dough into a small disc. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough in a circle large enough to fit into another Small Pie Baker. Repeat with the second pre-made crust.
- Carefully place pie bakers on the preheated baking sheet and pour the filling into the pie crusts. Bake for 10 minutes at 400° F. Without taking the pie out of the oven, reduce the heat to 300° F, and continue baking until edges of pie are set (instant- read thermometer inserted in center registers 175° F), about 30 to 35 minutes longer. The center 2 inches of the pie should look firm but jiggle slightly.
- Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
- Adapted from America's Test Kitchen