The key for Thanksgiving is starting early, making what you can ahead of time and if possible, finding some shortcuts to not make the holiday feel like a day of work.
This is one of those make ahead recipes – plus you can totally eliminate dishes with these bite size, hold in your hand and eat as you go pie. And these cook in a fraction of the time a regular pie takes to make – yeah!
You still use the same amount of ingredients- one pie crust and enough filling with one pie -and you just put it all in muffin tins. You can buy or make your crust and toppings, I did a bit of a mix. I made the crust (recipe below) because it is super easy and can be made a day or two ahead. But I bought the cherry pie filling and the pumpkin pie filling (time saver!). I did make the pecan pie filling because I’m pretty sure you can’t buy it.
Simply cut out the dough, I used the largest biscuit cutter I had, and fit it into your muffin tin. Fill the crust with your desired filling, but leave a little bit of a lip of crust. This will create not only the perfect “pie” but also will help you remove the pie from your tin.
If you want to add a lattice topping, simply cut dough into thin strips and lay them over top. Seriously, these are super simple to make and everyone loves them because you can have a bite (or a few) of every pie choice.
- 1¼ cups all purpose flour + more for rolling dough
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2-4 tablespoons ice cold water
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin pie filling (look at directions for how to prepare)
- 1 – 30 ounce can of prepared cherry pie filling
- You’ll need to prepare one pie crust for each type of pie.
- In a food processor, pulse flour, salt and sugar together just to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few small lumps remaining.
- Slowly sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of the water while pulsing the flour-butter mixture. Do this until the mixture comes together when squeezed with your fingers.
- Turn out onto a work surface and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- When the dough is ready, roll out onto your floured work surface until it is about ¼” thick. Cut 12 circles, large enough to completely fill your muffin tin. I used the largest biscuit cutter I had. In a greased muffin tin, add in the pie crust circles. Pressing to the edges and bottom with your fingers.
- Below are the directions for each pie type.
- For the filling, mix all of the ingredients together except for the pecans.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of the chopped nuts to each pie filled muffin tin. Top with the prepared filling, leaving about ¼” room.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. The pastry should be lightly brown and the filling should have puffed up.
- For the pumpkin pies, I filled the muffin tins with the prepared filling and baked at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean and the crust has slightly browned. Top with whipped cream once cooled.
- For the cherry pies, I filled the muffin tins with prepared cherry filling and then topped it with a few strips of leftover dough to form a lattice. Bake at 375 degrees until the crust tops are slightly brown and the filling is bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.