Pie to the rescue! Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Are you ready for all your relatives in your house at once? Are you ready for the big love fest that will ensue?

That’s what I thought. You are so not ready. You’ve got about 9-10 days before the big event.

You know there is going to be a lot of hugs, kisses, and a little extra spice thrown in. That’s what makes life interesting- the spice part. Yes, count on some bickering, some whispering; “Seriously, what is that she is wearing?!”, some whining about who gets the comfy chair, and all the little annoyances  gifts that make up a family unit.

But you still all love each other.

Deeply. Never forget that part.

Thanksgiving is about love, sharing, and yes- embarassing family stories…and pie.

At some point that embarrasing story about cousin Timmy will bubble to the surface from someone who has had a little too much chardonnay. It’s okay. This is why we have pie on Thanksgiving.

Pie smoothes out all the bumpy spots. Pie=peace. Pie= silence. Pie=happiness.  It’s my belief pie should be served at all foreign summits and UN meetings and much more would get solved…. But I digress. There is only one problem I can think of with pie. At some point, one of your clan will ask you to slice them just a sliver. You know there is always that one annoying relative who will refuse pie, (sure go ahead and refuse after I slaved all day). Diabetics are exempt. Don’t you know that it is a turkey day crime to refuse pie on Thanksgiving?!

“Oh, okay then, just a sliver for me” they mutter… (who are you kidding with that piece of sliver).

I can’t stand trying to slice a sliver.

Of anything.

Let’s get that straight- right now.

Now, I am in no way knocking the fact you are watching your weight or counting points or calories. Not in the least. I just have a big aversion to sliver slicing….So I have come up with a solution. Just try to refuse one of these mini pies bites. They are like pumpkin pie poppers; in essence the equivalent of a sliver of pie.

One last thing- I totally spotted you behind the fridge earlier with the can of Redi-Whip tilting your head back squirting in whipped cream. Your secret is safe with me. Sliver indeed….

It’s okay because I love you deeply.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts

Yield: 24 mini tarts

Cream Cheese Press in Crust

3 oz. cream cheese, cubed at room temp

1 stick butter, cubed at room temp

1 Cup all-purpose flour

1  1/2 tsp.  sugar

pinch of salt

In a large shallow bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and cubed cream cheese. Using a fork mix to combine into one cohesive mass. Knead gently into a ball to gather up any scrappy bits of dough. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Filling

3/4 cup solid pack pumpkin (from a can)

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 Lg.egg

1/4  cup packed dark brown sugar

1  1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

raw sugar or regular sugar (for sprinkling crust)

1. prepare a 24 well mini muffin tin and  spray with baking spray or use a silicone mini muffin pan. Whisk all the filling ingredients in large bowl until combined. Set aside. Using the dough, pinch off enough to form about a 1 inch ball size. Flatten dough ball into a disk and press into the bottom and up the sides of each muffin well. Pour 1 Tbsp. of filling  into each pie crust well. Brush each top edge of crust with cream and sprinkle with raw sugar or granulated sugar.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes. Because it is a custard;the filling will continue to cook even after removed from the oven and set thoroughly once cooled. The filling will puff up but will flatten once out of the oven.

2. Rest the muffin tin over a wire rack and let the tarts rest for about 15 minutes before attempting to remove from each well. To guide out of the tin; use a thin edge knife and coax out of the wells, then let the tarts cool a bit more on a wire rack.

2. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Whipped cream optional. Store leftover tarts in an airtight container in the fridge.

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