Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Thanksgiving Baking: Mini Pumpkin Pies

The United States of America has given us a great many things.

Play-Doh. Barack Obama. Moon landings. The Simpsons. Joy the Baker. Motown. Pixor. New York City. 24 hr liquor stores. Peanut M&Ms. Route 66. Michelle Obama. Pumpkin Pie.

Except I'm not convinced about the inclusion of Pumpkin Pie in that (otherwise very comprehensive and virtually exhaustive) list.

For me, pumpkins tend to shine in soups or stews. I'm not one for vegetables in cakes. Except carrot cake 'course.

Are Pumpkins alone not a just a little watery, tasteless and bland? Indeed, as this American writer describes 'Pumpkin in North America is an idea, a symbol, a seasonal icon that has little relation to the flavour of pumpkin'

But, in the interests of Anglo-American relations (that recent screening of James Bond has clearly gone to my head-get me doing my bit for Queen and Country) I thought I'd give a Pumpkin Pie a go. 

(But in mini form, in case we don't like them).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mini Pumpkin Pies

For the pastry:
250g plain flour
125g cold butter
1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

400g pumpkin
160g maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
2 large eggs, beaten
150ml evaporated milk

Makes 5-6 8cm small pies

1. To make the pastry: Sift the flour into a large bowl. Coarsely grate the butter into the bowl. Add the icing sugar and using your hands, bring the dough together, adding a few drops of water if necessary to bind. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for one hour
2. Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7/420F. Take the chilled pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface, to roughly 4-5mm thick. Line the base and sides of a 22cm tart tin (or four small tart tins). Line the pastry case(s) with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool. Turn the oven down to 180C/Gas Mark 4/350F
3. To make the mixture: place the pumpkin puree, maple syrup and spices into a bowl and mix. 
4. Mix in the beaten eggs. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk until the mixtures becomes nicely thick and creamy
5. Pour into the pastry cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until the mixture firms and the pastry turns a lovely golden colour

Baker's notes...

  • I used Libby's tinned pumpkin, but Felicity Cloake has some suggestions here for using fresh pumpkin
  • Additional toppings to the pumpkin include marshmallow and pecans
  • Serve with a dollop of double cream or ice cream wihile reading a Great American Novel or watching a classic Hollywood movie
  • And the verdict? Pretty darn tasty!


  1. they do look so pretty but I'm afraid I agree, I find pumpkin very bland... nice work for thanksgiving though and pretty pictures too! x

  2. Your little pumpkin pies look perfect! I've never found a pumpkin pie recipe that I really loved so maybe this is it :-)

  3. I've always been a fan of mini pies and your pumpkin pies look delicious! : )

  4. Actually, pumpkin pie is originally English, and comes from East Anglia! Only our version of pumpkin pie in England was enriched with lots of eggs and spices! I am not a lover of standard pumpkin pie, but I have made an original historical pie from an old English cookbook and it was very tasty! Well done Kate for giving these a wee go! Your little pies look really pretty and very appetising! Karen

  5. Ooh! These look so adorable...absolutely delicious!!

  6. These are so cute! Im glad you liked them! I grew up in America with an English mother and I managed to avoid pumpkin pie until just a few years ago! I love it now! Your mini pies are the perfect way to try them.


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