Yields: 26 mini pies
Chilling: 30-60 mins
Assembly: 30-40 mins (Dependent upon skill and the number of kitchen helpers!)
Baking: 20-23 mins
Tools: Food processor, spatula, kitchen film, mixing bowl, muffin tins, palate knife, cooling racks
Delicious pumpkin pie! Yes, a sweet dessert pie with a spiced, pumpkin-based custard filling. Although not traditional to the UK, it still can be a great alternative to those that like traditional baked goods (mmm pies!) during the festive season because not everyone is keen on brandy butter, mince pies, Christmas cake, stollen or even chocolate desserts!
We fancied something different this year and saw the ‘always slightly over-priced tin of pumpkin pie filling’ at Tesco; unless you live near a farmers market, it can be tricky to source pumpkins past Halloween, at least in our parts (it’s ridiculous!). We’ve tried adding butternut squash to baked goods before, but feel that it’s just too sweet! By all means, use some freshly cooked pumpkin if you prefer!
Using the brand named tinned pumpkin puree as a ‘rough’ guide, we managed to create the perfect, plant-based ‘mini’ version, complete with homemade, gluten free pastry and vegan ‘condensed milk’. There was minimal added salt, no added eggs or dairy to the filling or pastry and we adjusted the spices and cooking times to suit our baking needs!
Our crust is not too sweet and has a lovely (slightly) flaky crust. The pie filling is only mildly sweetened’, we didn’t add ¾ cup sugar like the tin suggested; per serving each pie has about 3.5g of added sugar! We think that this actually makes them more user friendly, as no one needs and not very one enjoys sickly sweet baked goods. People can a dash of DF cream or vanilla yoghurt if they want a bit more sweetness!
A few good things to note:
- After experimenting with the ‘condensed milk’, it weighed 420g, but in this case we only needed 340g. Ironically if we had just gone ahead and ‘used the lot’, we would have gotten 26 pies! Of course we have adjusted the recipe for you.
- As it was our first time experimenting with this condensed milk, we do not know all of it capabilities. Would it still have worked in the same manor if it wasn’t chilled? Perhaps. Would it have tasted the same and have gone further? More than likely, but unfortunately we don’t have the time, budget or desire to go up three trouser sizes to find out! haha! If someone wants to experiment with this, they can let us know! 🙂
- If you’re planning on making a standard pie, you’ll need 1½ to 2 times the amount of dough (depending on the size of your dish and/or what type of topping you are creating). If you are using the entire quantity of pie filling, you will need to double the dough; one batch of dough makes a baker’s dozen.
- The pie crust and filling it fairly easy to assemble. The mini pies will take a bit longer to assemble than a standard pie will, but you can take consolation in the fact that they will spend less time in the oven!
- After baking, the filling was firm to the touch with a custard-y centre. If you want to try achieving a firmer centre, you could always refrigerate the pre-made pies for 30 mins prior to baking!
- It’s been taste tested by two people, both of which could have easily eaten more!
We hope that everyone enjoys this recipe as much as we did, whether you make a full-on pie or these dainty miniature versions!
We’d also just like to take a moment to say that this is our last recipe before Christmas, but hope that everyone has a lovely holiday period- whatever you might be getting up to!
Eat, drink, be merry and stay safe everyone! 🙂
Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂
1. Prepare the pie crust. If your food processor is only small (like ours!) you will have to create one batch of dough at a time. Place 150g margarine, 1 ½ tbsp fruit sweetener and 30g coconut oil into your food processor. Then add 300g GF flour, ¾ tsp xanthan gum and 1-2g ground cinnamon. Pulse and process until the mixture has combined and has come together.
2. Use a spatula to scrap down the sides of the processor’s bowl. Carefully remove the blade. Transfer the dough onto three pieces of kitchen film. Shape each portion into a ball. Wrap, seal and then press each ball into a flat disc.
3.Place the dough into a refrigerator for a minimum of 30 mins to ‘firm up’ and to help make the dough easier to work with. If necessary, repeat the first two steps until you have created another batch of dough. Tip: If you have the time, leave the dough in the fridge for 60 mins; thirty minutes is OK but sixty minutes is even better!
4. In the meantime, prepare the pie filling. Clean out your food processor. Place the chilled ‘condensed milk’ into it. Process until it becomes ‘relaxed’ and smooth. Add the
baby food pumpkin puree, 1-2 tbsp fruit sweetener (more or less depending on preference), a pinch of salt and 3-4g ground cinnamon, 1-2g ginger, ¼ tsp nutmeg and ¼ tsp cloves. Process until it’s thoroughly combined and uniform in colour. Tip: You might have to use a spatula to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl to help make sure it’s thoroughly combined!
Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Cover with kitchen film and refrigerate it until you are ready to fill the pie cases.
5. Grease 1-2 standard muffin tins with a little margarine or rapeseed oil. Depending on your oven and how fast you think you’ll prepare the pie crust, you might want to start preheating the oven to 180ºC/350°F now.
6. Prepare a clean and floured work surface. Remove one disc of dough from the fridge. Remove and discard the kitchen film. Place it onto the floured surface; knead it a little to slightly ‘relax’ it. Roll it out to a ¼ cm thickness. Cut out a circle shape large enough to cover the top of your muffin tin casing. Place it into the centre of the muffin mould. Gently press it down into the base of the tin. Continue to press and shape it, forming a pie crust that takes up about ¾ of the depth of the muffin mould. Repeat until all of dough has been used. Tip: If the dough tears, just add a little more to patch it up- it’s very forgiving!
7. Fill each casing with 1- 1½ (large ‘eating spoonful’s’) of the pie filling. Once you have filled all of the moulds, lift your muffin tin and then gently knock it against your table. Tip: This will help to smooth and release some of the air bubbles in the filling.
8.Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 10 mins. Increase the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F. Turn the tray around. Bake for a further 10-13 mins, or until the filling and pastry are firm to the touch and the pastry has turned a light, golden colour. Remove. Allow the pies to cool in the tin for 10mins. Remove and place them onto a cooling rack. Tip: We used a palate knife to help remove them. Allow to cool slightly before eating and/or completely before freezing (if applicable).
9.Serve slightly warmed or at room temperature with a dollop of chestnut, vanilla or cashew cream (or yoghurt), standard store-bought DF cream or a small scoop of a vanilla and cashew-based DF ice cream!
Refrigerate the pies in an air-tight and resealable container; serve warm or at room temperature and eat within 4-5 days. Alternatively, individually wrap each pie in kitchen film and/or foil; store in an air-tight and resealable container and freeze; defrost and reheat within 2-6 weeks.