Pumpkin Cup-Pies

Phew… It has been a busy last couple of weeks. I have been baking up a storm with no time to post on it. Not to mention all the great mental health awareness events that I let pass by unmentioned. Well that is all about to change. I hope to get all the recipes I have been working on posted on by Sunday.

pumpkins

I am up for the challenge!

You may be all pumpkin-ed out after the past weeks holiday festivities, but maybe you have some real pumpkin decorations that you would like to use instead of just throw away before they rot. After all pumpkin can be a December food as well (Hey.. it’s mentioned in multiple Christmas songs!).

roasted pumpkins

So a bit ago I made some miniature pumpkin pies (let’s call them cup-pies). These cup-pies were baked in muffin pans and filled with delicious pumpkin pie filling.

Even more miraculous than tiny pies was the fact that there were no cans involved in the making of the pumpkin. That’s right I used a real pumpkin that had been roasted in the oven (instructions below) and pureed in the food processor. It made the creamiest and smoothest pumpkin pie filling I had ever tasted. pumpkin shells

Now that the holidays are in full swing that means that most people are around family more than they may be during the rest of the year. This can be a good and bad thing. Some people have more difficulties around the holidays for various reasons, but the holidays are actually no worse than the rest of the year for suicide rates as it may have once been believed.

pumpkin puree

Some good reminders for making the holiday season better for you is to not try to accomplish everything little thing on your holiday list. It is okay to pair down. You don’t need to do something seasonably related every day of the season. It is perfectly okay to do the things that are the most fun for you and let go of the things that will cause you extra stress.

dough cut outs

I believe that a good portion of the holiday difficulties come from people’s expectations being too high. I know that can be the case for me, but I am challenging myself to only do the things that make me happy and don’t add any unnecessary stress to my life. That in itself is a challenge because I am a perfectionist and I like to have everything and it all must be perfect. But I challenge you to work with me in letting it be less than perfect so that you can be happy during the holiday season.

before cuppies

These little pies can be helpful for you to think about when trying to do everything at once. What I mean is these little guys are perfectly fine waiting around for when you have time to complete them.

One day you can roast the pumpkin and come back to it when it cooled down and throw it in the food processor. The next day or a few days later you can make the pie crust. At another time you can make the filling. And whenever you are ready you can put them all together and enjoy. I hope we can work together on relieving stress through the holiday season.

after cuppies

And whenever you are ready for it you can have these delicious two-bite pies for your enjoyment.

Pumpkin Puree

1 medium pie pumpkin

To make the puree:

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Split the pumpkin in half and put face down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes or until you can insert a fork easily into the flesh. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and stringy material. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh and put into food processor. Pulse until flesh is smooth.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

2 cups pumpkin puree

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup evaporated milk

3 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp salt

To make the filling: Combine ingredients and whisk thoroughly.

Pie Crust

1 cup butter, chilled and cubed

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3-4 tablespoons ice water

To make the crust:

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in the food processor. Add the butter and pulse until you have pea sized pieces. Add the water until the mixture comes together in a shaggy dough – you should be able to squeeze it together in your hand. Roll out the dough and cut it with a 2-inch round cutter and roll out thinly. Put dough in muffin cups making sure do leave no air bubbles underneath the dough.

To make the pies:

Pour filling into dough cups until almost filled (filling will puff up slightly while baking, but will deflate once cooled). Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes or until pies have set and developed a caramel coloring. Cool slightly in pans and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!

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