Monday, February 20, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Cups

We don't typically keep a lot of dessert-y type food in our house. If it was there constantly, we'd eat it... and weigh a tad more than we would like. So, the other night when Zack wanted something sweet after dinner, I was hard pressed to find something to make.

Being the pumpkin fanatic that I am, I always keep a can of pumpkin puree on hand. I also, miraculously had a pre-made pie crust or two laying around. The recipe is a bit like our Pumpkin Pie recipe, but altered based off the ingredients we had at our house.

Here's what you need:
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (I told you, I had to work with what I had on hand)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
crystallized ginger
Pre-made pie crust

Here's what you do:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Start by rolling your pie crust out so that it's about 1/8" thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut rounds out of the pie crust. You'll have to eventually ball the crust back up and roll it out again. You can get about 24 rounds out of one pie crust. The filling, however, makes enough for at least 48 cups.

Once you have your rounds, start mixing up your filling.

Scoop the pumpkin into the bowl, and add spices and eggs to the bowl.

Give that a good stir.

Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk. Since we were using sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk, we didn't add the sugar that we normally would for pumpkin pie.

Once you have a nice consistency, set the mixture aside, and prep your mini muffin tin.

Butter and flour the mini muffin tin. Trust me, you really want to remember this step. Otherwise, getting the pie cups out later will be a disaster.

Take your little pie crust rounds and form them into the pan.

Next, just spoon in some of the filling into each cup. Don't be like me, and try to actually keep the filling inside the cups. Your oven should be preheated by now, so pop the pan in for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, pull them out of the oven and top with the crystallized ginger.

Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the filling has puffed up and the crusts are browned.

Removing the cups from the pan was a challenge I hadn't anticipated when I first conceived of this dessert. What I ended up doing (thanks to Zack's quick rummaging through our kitchen drawers), was use my orange peeler to push down on one side of the crust, and then scoop it onto a spatula. You could probably use a butter knife in place of the pointy orange peeler. This is why buttering and flouring the pan is so important. They popped right out of the pan. 

Set them on a rack to cool for just a couple of minutes.

Sprinkle just a touch of cinnamon and sugar over the top right before you serve them.


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