This Thanksgiving looks different for us. It will be a quiet weekend for two instead of a hectic (but wonderful) weekend visiting families. Even if we can’t be together with our families, we will stay connected through the recipes that came from our loved ones (and of course video chat).
I told my husband that I didn’t care what we ate for Thanksgiving dinner. Seriously, mac and cheese and chicken nuggets would do. However, we had to have my mother-in-law’s pumpkin pie for dessert because it is probably my favorite pie ever.
A normal size pie is just way too much for two people. (Some disagree with me. 😉 ) My solution was this mini version. It’s all of the same great flavors as my mother-in-law’s normal size pie recipe, but modified to be a 6 inch pie that can be consumed by just the two of us without a week of left over pie.
First of all, can we admire the top of the pie. There are no cracks or craters that are common in custard pies like this. The trick is to cool it very slowly in the oven with the door open and oven heat off (once it’s done baking). I had planned on decorating the top of it with little pie shaped leaves and homemade whipped cream, but I couldn’t bring myself to cover the perfection. By the way, even if it had cracks on top, it would still be perfectly delicious.
Seriously, one slice of this pie is so adorable. It’s so little it can’t even sit straight up like a normal slice because the pie crust is too heavy for the small slice. It’s part of the charm of a mini pie. 🙂
Whether you make this small version or the normal size, this pumpkin pie is the real deal. The combination of spices can make or break a pumpkin pie. The ratio of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice going on here is shear perfection and I believe that is the key to what makes this recipe out of this world! The pumpkin filling is a tad sweet and a whole lot of deliciously spicy. Oh, it’s so velvety smooth!
If you eat pumpkin pie warm or room temperature, the spices will have an enhanced flavor and the filling will be soft almost like a custard. This approach works when you are in a hurry, are too impatient to wait for it too cool, or if you just prefer it warm. In our house we prefer our pie straight from the fridge cold when the filling is firm. To each their own.
Pumpkin Pie for Two Recipe
(Makes a 6 inch pie, serving 2-3)
- 1 serving of small pie crust, uncooked
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
- 1/8 heaping teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 heaping teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- Make 1 serving of the small pie crust.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- Mix in the egg, pumpkin puree, and evaporated milk.
- Lightly grease a 6 inch round pie pan and set it aside. I’m pretty sure greasing it is not necessary because of the shortening in the crust, but I like to do it anyway. It helps to guarantee that the slices come out easily later.
- Lightly flour your rolling surface.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and from the plastic wrap and place it on your floured surface.
- Using a rolling pin, start rolling from the center and work your way out. Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough and on your rolling pin if the dough is too sticky.
- Roll out the dough to about 8 inches in diameter. You want to roll it larger than the size of the pie pan to allow for enough dough to go up the sides of the pie plate.
- Carefully lift the dough off of the surface. Gently lay the dough into the pan and gently press the dough into the edges of the pan taking care to avoid poking holes in it or tearing it.
- Cut off a little bit of the excess dough that hangs over the edge of the pie plate.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust.
- Cover the outer edge of the pie crust with a pie crust protector or tin foil.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet on the lower shelf of the preheated oven and bake it for 10 minutes.
- Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and bake it for an additional 50 minutes or until a butter knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. The center of the filling should jiggle a tad when you shake it gently and the color of the filling looks dark and has slightly puffed up. Rotate the pie half way during the baking process and remove the crust protector. (I’ve made this so many times, I didn’t test it. Great pics that way.)
- Turn off the oven, open the door slightly, leave the pie in the oven to cool for an hour or so. (Please note! If your oven is in reach of kids then either skip this step or take extra caution.)
- Let the pie cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Adapted from: My mother-in-law’s mom
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