Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cake of the Week: Mini Pumpkin Pies with Gingerbread Graham Cracker Crust

As you know, on Sunday I celebrated Pre-Thanksgiving. And what’s Thanksgiving without desserts? I am all about Thanksgiving desserts (of course). At home, we usually take a break between dinner and dessert, maybe go for a walk to let the turkey and stuffing settle and make room for pies and fudge and cheesecake (oh my!).
I wanted to make a play on pumpkin pie…something good for a buffet table…thus, Mini Pumpkin Pies!

The problem with pie is the crust (dun dun dunnn) - it’s kind of a throwaway component. When we were little, my sisters and I always left the pie crust on our plates. But graham cracker crust is something else entirely. Is there a single person out there who doesn’t love graham cracker crust? No, no there is not. Because it is fantastic and easy to make! And this graham cracker crust takes its graham crackery-ness to a whole new level.

That’s because Safeway, for once, had what I needed and more. Next to the regular graham crackers there sat a box of Gingerbread Graham Crackers. Done and done. Best graham cracker crust ever.

And of course you must have whipped cream. A pumpkin pie without whipped cream is like a day without sunshine. And there is no such thing as too much whipped cream. (My super mind powers tell me that Sister2 is dying over this picture – the kid used to get hot chocolate without the hot chocolate, aka a cup of whipped cream and a spoon.)

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Gingerbread Graham Cracker Crust

The Crust:

1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs (put your crackers in a bag and crush them, or you can be all high-tech and use a food processor)

1/4 cup brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix all the ingredients together and press them into the bottoms of greased muffin tins (or you can do them in cupcake wrappers). I had enough for about 30 mini pies.


The Filling:

¾ cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

2 large eggs

1 can pure pumpkin

1 can evaporated milk

Preheat the oven to 425*

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth.

Spoon filling into muffin tins.

Bake at 425* for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350* and cook for 20 minutes more.

Remove from the oven. To test for done-ness, shake the pan a bit, pies should not be jiggly in the center.

Cool completely, then run a knife around the edges and remove from the pan.

Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

13 comments:

  1. Wow, this looks awesome as always. You make me want to bake this weekend. I may even take pictures, because it is such a rare event!

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  2. Mmm, this looks amazing. May be stealing this for thanksgiving dinner.

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  3. umm last time i checked i love regular pie crust and hate graham cracker crust...

    jeannie

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  4. Oh Jeannie, I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt...and now I'm going to have to judge you.

    But DO NOT deny your love of whipped cream!

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  5. mmmmm, my kitchen remodel is almost complete and this may be my first "baking" item! It looks delicious!

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  6. Mollie, did you just call crust a "throwaway component?" I may have to re-think our friendship.

    The crust IS THE BEST PART. The pie is simply a vehicle for the crust, a compliment to the crust.

    This is a discussion PRIORITY when you arrive in NorCal for Christmas.

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  7. I kind of have to agree with Jeannie on this one. I don't HATE graham cracker crust but regular pie crust is wayyyyy better.

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  8. I don't know. I think that gingerbread crust sounds awesome. I am going to try one of your earlier pumpkin pie recipes as one of three pumpkin deserts for Thanksgiving.

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  9. What a good idea, I may just do this over the weekend when I have friends over. THanks for the inspiration!

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  10. Holy crap, these are so good! I just made them for my Thanksgiving dinner in Germany--I had to use a Hokkaido pumpkin because we don't have the canned stuff and I don't know what evaporated milk is in German so I used a half a can of sweetened condensed milk that I've had in the cupboard for at least 6 months or more. They haven't cooled, so they are still a bit soft, but WOW! Doesn't top my pumpkin cheesecake with Spekulatius crust from last Thanksgiving, but it sure is mighty tasty (and soooo easy)!

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    1. How did the German pumpkin work out? Hope they taste delicious! And agreed...nothing can top a pumpkin cheesecake...it just can't.

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  11. These sound amazing! I too am a crust-abandoner, but now I feed them to my dog, because my mom can't yell at me for it! Thanks for the recipe, this is a brilliant idea!

    ~Kitt

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