Pumpkin pie doesn’t have to be only for the Thanksgiving table; it also makes a super seasonal treat to serve friends and family on Halloween. In this version, the mini pies have the warm, fragrant flavors of chai: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves. Replace the cardamom with 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg for a more traditional pumpkin pie flavor.
Pumpkin Chai Mini Pies
2 rolled-out rounds basic pie dough
1 can (15 oz./470 g) pumpkin puree
1 cup (7 oz./220 g) ﬁrmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbs. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
Lightly coat 24 standard muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Using a 4-inch (10-cm) round cutter, cut out 24 rounds and fit them into the prepared muffin cups, gathering the scraps of dough and rerolling as needed. Trim the edges if necessary, leaving a 1/4-inch (6-mm) overhang. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
Bake the crusts until dry to the touch and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Leave the oven on.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and brown sugar. Add the cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and salt and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk until combined. Add the cream and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Divide the filling among the crusts.
Bake until the filling is set, 30 to 35 minutes, covering the edges with aluminum foil if they brown too quickly. Let cool completely on wire racks before serving. Serve each mini pie with a dollop of whipped cream. Makes 24 mini pies.
For this and more than 35 other ideas for sweet and savory pies, check out The Pie Cookbook, the all-inclusive guide to making pies by the cooks of the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen.