These Mini Pumpkin Pies feature a velvety pumpkin filling in a gingersnap crust, crowned with clouds of decadent whipped cream. The gingersnap crust isn’t just a crunchy foundation, but a unique-tasting gateway to the familiar flavors of homemade pumpkin pie. These mini desserts are going to be the most popular item on your holiday table.
Why You’re Going to Love This Recipe
While nothing beats a familiar slice of homemade pumpkin pie, it’s fun to break from the expected and serve up a miniature rendition of a classic, especially with an upgraded crust. If you love pumpkin recipes, you’re really going to enjoy this tasty treat.
There is something really special about the combination of spiced pumpkin filling and the zesty kick of the gingersnap crust that really makes these minis a delicious deviation from tradition.
Related: Mini Apple Crumble Pies
I’ve served these mini pumpkin pie tarts at large Thanksgiving gatherings (where a dessert buffet table is involved), small dinner parties in the fall and even New Year’s Eve. I think they’re a great book club dessert, as the recipe can be easily doubled and tripled. These mini pies are not bite-sized like some versions, but can be hand-held or eaten with a fork.
Pumpkin Pie History
I’ve always wondered what the first pumpkin pies were really like. I recall reading about them and that in their primitive form, early versions of pumpkin pie likely consisted of hollowed-out pumpkins filled with a mixture of milk, honey, and spices.
Colonists likely adapted their pie-making techniques from European recipes, incorporating the native American squash, which we now know as pumpkin. Over time, the recipe kept evolving, with the addition of molasses, spices, and a crust, laying the foundation for the pumpkin pie we know today.
Mini Pumpkin Pie (Tart) Ingredients
- Gingersnap Cookies: Add the zesty kick and warm spice, laying the foundation for the crust.
- Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness to balance the spiciness of the gingersnaps and helps bind the crust together.
- Butter: Provides richness and ensures a crisp texture, enhancing the overall mouthfeel of the final crust.
- Egg: Acts as a binding agent and contributes to the structure of the filling.
- Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the pumpkin mixture, creating a balance with the spices.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor profile.
- Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves: The trio of spices that impart the signature warmth and depth to the pumpkin filling.
- Pumpkin Puree: The iconic pumpkin flavor and creamy texture.
- Evaporated Milk: Adds creaminess, richness and smooth consistency to the filling.
How to Make Mini Pumpkin Pies
- Preheat oven and prepare tart pans.
- Pulse ginger snaps into crumbs, mix with other crust ingredients and press into tart pans. Bake for 7 minutes.
- Whisk egg and continue with sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, evaporated milk. Add pumpkin puree.
- Pour filling into crust shells and bake for approximately 25 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate.
- Enjoy with whipped cream.
- Crust Prep (Up to 2 Days Ahead):
- Pulse Ginger Snaps into crumbs and combine with Sugar and Butter.
- Press the crust mixture into tart pans or liners and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Filling Preparation (Up to 1 Day Ahead):
- Whisk together Egg, Sugar, Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, and Evaporated Milk.
- Stir in Pumpkin Puree and refrigerate in an airtight container.
- Assembly and Baking (On Serving Day):
- Preheat the oven and bake the prepared crusts as directed.
- Pour the filling into the pre-baked crusts and bake until done.
- Cooling and Storage:
- Allow the mini pies to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Serve chilled, either directly from the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Optionally, add whipped cream just before serving.
- Refrigerator Storage:
- Store leftover mini pumpkin pies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Consume within 2-3 days for optimal freshness.
- Freezer Storage (For Longer Preservation):
- Wrap individual mini pies tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag.
- Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- The texture may be slightly affected after freezing, but the flavor should remain delicious.
- When ready to enjoy frozen pies, transfer them to the refrigerator and let them thaw overnight.
- Alternatively, you can reheat them in a preheated oven for a few minutes until warmed through.
Can I use a different type of cookie for the crust?
Absolutely! Experiment with your favorite cookies to create a crust that suits your taste. I love using cinnamon graham crackers or chocolate wafers.
How do I prevent the crust from getting soggy?
This is why we pre-bake the crust before adding the filling. Your crust will not be soggy with this method.
Can I make these tart-pies without evaporated milk?
Yes, you can substitute with half-and-half or heavy cream for a richer texture. Adjust the quantity based on your preference.
How do I know when the pies are done baking?
Insert a toothpick into the center; it should come out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs.
Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned puree?
Yes, you can use fresh pumpkin puree. Roast or steam and then puree the pumpkin until smooth.
Fun Recipe Variations for Pumpkin Mini Tarts
These pies are really fun to personalize and create variations. Here are a few ideas to make them stand out even more. I personally love adding gingersnap streusel.
- Maple Pecan Crunch:
- Add a layer of maple syrup to the filling for a sweet twist.
- Top each mini pie with a sprinkle of chopped pecans for crunch.
- Chai Spice Infusion:
- Infuse the filling with chai spices like cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg for a unique flavor profile.
- Consider adding a chai tea reduction to the pumpkin mixture.
- Chocolate Swirl Sensation:
- Swirl chocolate ganache into the pumpkin filling before baking for a marbled effect.
- Use a chocolate cookie crust instead of gingersnap for a richer combination.
- Coconut Cream Dream:
- Mix shredded coconut into the gingersnap crust for added texture.
- Top each pie with a dollop of coconut whipped cream for a tropical twist.
- Gingersnap Streusel Topping:
- Create a gingersnap streusel by combining crushed gingersnaps, brown sugar, and butter.
- Sprinkle the streusel on top of the pies before baking for a spiced and crunchy topping.
More Pumpkin Recipes To Fill Up On!
- Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mule
- 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Pancakes
- Pumpkin Caramel Bars with Bacon
- Pumpkin Cookies with Molasses
- Pumpkin Pie Martini
- Pumpkin Crumb Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
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Mini Pumpkin Pies Recipe
Mini Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare tart pans with cooking spray.cooking spray
- In a food processor, pulse ginger snaps cookies to crumbs, use enough to make two cups. Pour into a bowl and stir in sugar and butter until fully combined.2 cups ginger snaps cookie crumbs, 3 tbsps. granulated sugar, 6 tbsps. butter, melted
- Press an even amount of crust mixture into the bottom and sides of each tart pan, using the bottom of a measuring cup to get an even, firm crust.
- Bake on a sheet pan for 7 minutes. Set aside.
Mini Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- Whisk egg slightly in a medium sized bowl and continue with sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Whisk in evaporated milk and pumpkin puree.1 large egg, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp table salt, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 3/4 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 can (7.5 oz) pumpkin puree
- Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crust shells.
- Bake on a sheet pan for approximately 25 minutes, until filling is set.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
- Served with whipped cream.*whipped cream
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