Pumpkin Pie Cups

Best Pie Bakeoff 2008 Entry #13

Recipe: Lissa's Pumpkin Pie Cups Category: Classic

Lissa categorized these "individual cups of spicy, spirited 'pumpkin pie'" as an original recipe, but we love how it plays on the classic pumpkin pie, so we're filing it in the Classic Pies category. We find this idea so charming - we love small individual cups of dessert, and these pumpkin custards topped with a pie cutout look so sweet. Read on for Lissa's story of how she developed this recipe.

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Where is this recipe from? Inspired by cookbook + magazine reads, this recipe is my own. A blend of old world flavors (spices like mace + allspice mixed with a few jiggers of dark rum) with "newer" techniques (use of evaporated milk + a water bath), it's a spicy, spirited, less filling pie.

Why is this the BEST pie recipe you've got? Why this pumpkin? Small, individual portions are less fuss + really cute to serve. It's a fun twist on the traditional thanksgiving pie. You eat it with a spoon. Your home will smell divine for hours on end. It tastes better after it sits. People will leave happily full...and...yum, rum!

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Pumpkin Pie Cups

pie filling
(4) large eggs
(1) 15 ounce can of pumpkin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup dark rum
(1) 12 ounce can of evaporated milk

pie crust cut outs
(1) carton of refrigerated pie crusts, such as Pillsbury

egg wash
1 tablespoon water
(1) large egg

optional toppings
Whipped cream
French dragees for holiday sparkle

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instructions for pie filling:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. in a large bowl, beat eggs using an electric mixer until blended. Add pumpkin and next 11 ingredients. Mix until blended. Stir in evaporated milk.

Pour mixture into (8) six ounce ungreased, oven-safe custard cups. Place cups into a glass casserole dish. Surround the cups with one inch of hot water (a.k.a, a water bath).

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set. Remove cups and place on a baking rack to cool. Once cooled, cover and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.

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instructions for pastry cut outs:
Follow directions on carton by letting one of the pie crusts stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Unroll crust + cut out shapes to your liking (such as leaves, acorns, squirrels, turkeys, hearts). Then, make an egg wash by whisking water with egg. Lightly brush pastry cut outs with egg wash.

Bake for about 7 minutes until golden brown (check at 5 minutes to avoid over browning). Place on a baking rack to completely cool.

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instructions for assembly:
Once pumpkin pie cups have been refrigerated for 6 or more hours, top filling with a dollop of whipped cream + sprinkle with dragees, if desired. Then place cooled pastry cut outs on a side plate or insert one into the filling next to the whipped cream. Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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(Images: Lissa Lowe)

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