Mini Pumpkin Pies

Bite-Size Pumpkin Pies!

Thanksgiving tradition in our home calls for Apple and Pumpkin Pies so, in addition to baking Mini Apple Pies, I baked bite-size Pumpkin Pies. Referencing Sally’s Baking Addiction, the recipe below combines hers and mine. Shhh–don’t tell. I couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to try one. Hon, it was delicious!

Warm holiday wishes to you and your family.

Before baking and after.

Tips:

  • Grease or line mini muffin cups in two 24-count mini muffin pans.
  • Use a 2.5 inch cookie cutter or a 1/3 cup measuring cup to cut dough into small circles.
  • Sally’s Baking Addiction says, “These mini pumpkin pies are dough heavy– lots of crust in each bite. The filling really has to stand out, so we’ll use flavorful brown sugar and extra pumpkin pie spice.”
  • SBA also suggests using a touch of black pepper. “No one will know it’s there– all they’ll taste is a delightfully spiced flavor.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 unbaked pie crusts (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 (16oz) can cooked pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy creamer
  • small pinch black pepper (optional – see note)

Directions:

  1. Prepare pumpkin pie filling by beating 2 eggs, then adding remaining ingredients and mixing thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°.
  3. Roll pie crusts to 1/8″ thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a 2.5-inch cookie cutter (or 1/3 cup measuring cup), shape mini crusts. Re-roll any scrap pieces of pie dough as needed to cut out the circles.
  4. Place the small circles of dough into greased or lined 24-count mini muffin pan(s). Press the dough flat into the bottom of the crevice and up the sides.
  5. Evenly spoon cold filling into each unbaked crust, filling to the top.
  6. Bake mini pies until the center is just about set and edges are lightly browned, about 21-25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. If greased well, the mini pies pop right out using a spoon to scoop them up. Cool, then serve at room temperature or refrigerate until chilled and serve cold. Filling deflates a bit as they cool.
  7. Cover leftover pies tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes:

Store any leftover Mini Pumpkin Pies in the refrigerator for up to 5 days OR wrap, freeze, and defrost at a later date.

Yield: 48-50 mini pies

Mini Apple Pies

Thanksgiving Looks Different This Year!

Searching for a way to serve the holiday meal in a safe, individualized way, we’ve ordered take-out and soup containers, baked easy-to-serve desserts, and will be gathering outside on our front porch. You’d think forming mini pies in a 12-count muffin pan would be easier than rolling out dough for regular-sized pies, but it took way more time. Thanks to Live Well, Bake Often for the recipe. The results will be worth it!

Happy baking, hon! And hope you have a happy Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pie crusts (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped apples, approx. 6 (I used a combo of Granny Smith and Gala.)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • dash of cloves and touch of honey
  • optional, egg yolk for egg wash and decorator’s crystal sugar or some other decoration

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Roll pie crusts to 1/8″ thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3.5-inch cookie cutter (or a cup) cut out 12 circles from the pie crusts. Re-roll any scrap pieces of pie dough as needed to cut out the circles.
  3. Place each circle of pie crust in each cavity of a standard 12-count muffin pan. Gently press the dough down and around the sides, making sure the dough fits snuggly in each cavity of the muffin pan. Transfer the muffin pan and any leftover pie crust dough to the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the chopped apples, sugar, flour, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, and ground nutmeg, cloves and honey until fully combined. Remove the muffin pan from the refrigerator and evenly distribute the apple pie filling between all of the cavities in the muffin pan (about 2-3 tablespoons per mini pie).
  5. Remove the extra pie dough from the refrigerator, cut out your designs for the tops of the pies, and place them on top. (Tip: For criss-cross pattern, no need to weave– lay 3 to 4 thin strips in one direction, then 3-4 thin strips in other direction.)
  6. Optional: Brush egg yolk on tops of pie to enhance golden color. Sprinkle decorator’s sugar on top. On the mini loaf pan pies, I sprinkled sugar snowflakes.
  7. Bake at 425°F for 20-25 minutes or until the pie crust is lightly golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove the mini pies from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Notes:

Store any leftover mini apple pies in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave before serving. OR wrap and freeze pies and defrost thoroughly before serving.

Yield: 12 mini pies

Brunch Ready Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

What to bring to a Mother’s Day brunch? Quiche came to mind, but I haven’t made one in awhile, so I’m hoping it’s as easy as it was the first time I tried this recipe!

Happy cooking, hon!

BASIC PIE CRUST (single crust)

1 1/3 cups flour

½ tsp. salt

½ cup vegetable shortening

¼ cup ice water

Insert steel blade in food processor.  Sift together flour and salt and place in processor container.  Add shortening and process until mixture resembles cornmeal (about 5 seconds).  Slowly pour water through feed tube and process until dough forms a ball (about 5 to 10 seconds).  Chill dough for easier handling.  Roll into a circle 1/8 inch thick and place in pie dish.  (Hint:  drape dough over rolling pin, center over dish and lower carefully.)  Flute edges.

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR QUICHE

10 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp. flour

1 (10 oz.) pkg frozen broccoli or leftover, steamed broccoli

3 eggs, beaten

¼ to ½ cup half & half or a little milk

Dash of pepper and dash or two of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, toss cheese and flour together.  Cook broccoli if it’s frozen; drain well.  Add broccoli to cheese.  Add eggs to broccoli cheese mixture.  Add half & half (or milk).  Add pepper and nutmeg; stir.  Mix well.  Pour into piecrust.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown.  (Hint:  cover lightly with tin foil for about the last 15 minutes if the quiche hasn’t set in the middle and the crust edges are browning.)  Serves 6 to 8.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie.
Pecan Pie.

I love pecan pie. So, why have I only made it a few times in my life? Because I have a house of picky eaters! But in honor of Thanksgiving, and because I won’t be the only one eating the pie, I tried a new recipe. (previous post with different recipe.)

Luckily, I have a good sense of smell and picked up the “take-me-out-of-the-oven-NOW-scent” because the recipe called for another 10 minutes of baking time. The dark brown crust meant my pie could have come out of the oven even earlier. That won’t stop me–I bet it’s going to delicious.  Happy baking, hon.

Gather ingredients.
Gather ingredients.

Ready to go in the oven.
Ready to go in the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons  margarine

3 eggs

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups (10 -12 ounces) chopped pecans

9-inch pie shell

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Melt margarine in a small pan on stove.
  3. In mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add corn syrup, sugar and vanilla, and stir until well blended. Add melted margarine and pecans and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
  5. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Pie Crust:  I make my own.  To find out how, click either gluten-free pie crust or regular pie crust.

 

Gluten Free Spinach Tomato Cheddar Quiche

IMG_5494

Call me a quiche snob!

I can’t bring myself to buy quiches that have 25 plus ingredients, many of them unpronounceable. Sure, I eat my share of processed food. But why buy something when a) the recipe is easy to follow, b) all the ingredients are familiar, and c) the homemade version is healthy and delicious? Plus, quiches freeze well. I’m always happy to pull one of out of the freezer, add some salad and/or soup and call it a meal.

One of my daughters is gluten free so this was my first attempt at making gluten free pastry dough. It was definitely more work than making regular pastry dough, which is a cinch if you have a food processor. I was surprised how well the gluten free dough held its shape. If you want the recipe for regular pastry dough, click here and you’ll link to a previous post,  Broccoli Cheddar Quiche.

Happy cooking, hon!

Gathering Ingredients
Gathering ingredients.

Dried beans weigh pastry dough down while bakes for 10 minutes.
Dried beans weigh pastry dough down it while bakes for 10 minutes.

Shredded cheddar and steamed spinach.
Shredded cheddar and steamed spinach.

Steamed spinach and chopped tomato.
Steamed spinach and chopped tomato.

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to go in the oven.
Ready to go in the oven.

Gluten Free Spinach Tomato Cheddar Quiche ready to eat.
Gluten Free Spinach Tomato Cheddar Quiche ready to eat.

GLUTEN FREE PASTRY DOUGH (single crust)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, plus extra for greasing

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup water

pie weights or dried beans (I bought a bag of navy beans, these can be used again after weighing down dough in oven.)

Directions:

1.  Grease a deep 9-inch tart or pie pan.

2.  To make pastry dough, place the flour, xanthan gum, and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles fine bread crumbs.

3.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the egg and a little water. Using your hands, mix in the dry ingredients to form a dough. Invert it onto a gluten free floured surface and knead well. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

4.  Roll out the dough and use it to line the prepared tart pan. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5.  Remove the dough from the freezer, line with parchment paper, fill with pie weights or dried beans, and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove parchment paper and weights and let the pastry cool slightly before adding filling.

SPINACH TOMATO CHEDDAR QUICHE FILLING

Ingredients:

10 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp. flour

1 (10 oz.) pkg frozen spinach, steamed

1 medium tomato, cut into chunks

3 eggs, beaten

¼ to ½ cup half & half or a little milk

Dash of pepper and dash or two of nutmeg

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, toss cheese and flour together.

2.  Cook spinach according to directions; drain well.

3.  Add spinach and tomato to cheese.  Add eggs to spinach/tomato/cheese mixture.  Add half & half (or milk).  Add pepper and nutmeg; stir.  Mix well.

4.  Pour into piecrust.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top.

5.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown.  (Hint: If crust is browning and middle of quiche isn’t set, use a pie rim cover or tin foil to cover perimeter of crust until quiche is done.)

Serves 6 to 8.

*Source for gluten free pastry dough:  Gluten Free Baking by Michael McCamley

Thanksgiving Dinner–Southern Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie
Pecan Pie

I love pecan pie!  While showing off photos of my lovely-looking pie, I was informed that I pronounce pecan incorrectly.  I say pee-CAN, but was told it should be pronounced pi-CAHN.  Either way I say it, my mouth waters just thinking about one of my favorite desserts!

In addition to apple and pumpkin pies, I’m adding this pie to my Thanksgiving dinner menu.  I found it in a Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook.

Happy baking, hon!

P.S.  How do you pronounce pecan?

pie crust and filling ingredients
pie crust and filling ingredients

ready to go in the oven
ready to go in the oven

Pecan Pie:  Enjoy!
Pecan Pie: Enjoy!

PECAN PIE

Basic Pie Crust

1 1/3 (325 ml) cups flour

1/2 (2 ml) teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable shortening

1/4 cup (50 ml) ice water

Food Processor Directions:  Insert steel blade in food processor.  Mix flour and salt, then place the mixture in the food processor.  Add shortening and process until mixture resembles cornmeal (about 5 seconds).  Slowly pour ice water through feed tube and process until dough forms a ball (about 5 to 10 seconds).  Chill dough for easier handling.

Shortcut:  If you don’t have time to make your own crust, use store-bought, unbaked pie crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Filling

3 large eggs

1/2 cup (4 oz/ 125 g) sugar

1 cup (10 oz/ 315 g) dark corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup (2 oz/ 60g) unsalted butter, melted (I used margarine)

1 1/2 cups (6oz/ 185g) large pecan pieces, cut into halves and quarters

Whipped Cream, optional

Directions

1.  Roll out the crust and form a pie shell in a baking dish.

2.  To make the filling, in a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla.  Whisk until blended.

3.  Whisk in melted butter (or margarine) .

4.  Using a spoon, stir in pecans.

5.  Pour filling into pie crust.

6.  Bake pie until filling is set.  The cookbook’s recipe recommends 45-50 minutes baking time, but my pie took 65 minutes to bake, so I suggest watching the pie to see how much time it needs in your oven.  The center of the pie should jiggle slightly if the pan is given a gentle shake.

7.  Transfer to wire rack and let cool.  Serve warm or a room temperature with whipped cream, if desired.

*The pie can be covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

*I made my pie a few weeks in advance and froze it, covering it in plastic wrap and tin foil.  I’ll thaw it the day before Thanksgiving and warm it in the oven on 250 degrees F before serving.

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

What can you do with leftover broccoli?  Bake a quiche of course!  I found this recipe in a cookbook my mother-in-law gave me; y’know, one of those fundraiser cookbooks in which a lot of ladies contribute their oldies-but-goodies.  So, thanks to Frances Kazer, whoever you are.  Hon, I started making my own crust and I promise it’s as easy as it sounds.  Add a salad to your quiche and you have yourself a healthy, delicious meal.  Happy cooking!

BASIC PIE CRUST (single crust)

1 1/3 cups flour

½ tsp. salt

½ cup vegetable shortening

¼ cup ice water

Insert steel blade in food processor.  Sift together flour and salt and place in processor container.  Add shortening and process until mixture resembles cornmeal (about 5 seconds).  Slowly pour water through feed tube and process until dough forms a ball (about 5 to 10 seconds).  Chill dough for easier handling.  Roll into a circle 1/8 inch thick and place in pie dish.  (Hint:  drape dough over rolling pin, center over dish and lower carefully.)  Flute edges.

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR QUICHE

10 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp. flour

1 (10 oz.) pkg frozen broccoli or leftover, steamed broccoli

3 eggs, beaten

¼ to ½ cup half & half or a little milk

Dash of pepper and dash or two of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, toss cheese and flour together.  Cook broccoli if it’s frozen; drain well.  Add broccoli to cheese.  Add eggs to broccoli cheese mixture.  Add half & half (or milk).  Add pepper and nutmeg; stir.  Mix well.  Pour into piecrust.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown.  (Hint:  cover lightly with tin foil for about the last 15 minutes if the quiche hasn’t set in the middle and the crust edges are browning.)  Serves 6 to 8.