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!