Mini Pumpkin Pies with Flour-less Crust

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Flour-less Crust

I’m so excited right now. No, really. Super excited. It’s Thanksgiving week! As an American living in Canada, there is one holiday Canadians don’t do as well as American: Thanksgiving. (To All My Canadian Friends and Family: Please accept my apology for the previous line. However, it’s true. Again. Sorry.) And, therefore, every year I can’t wait to get home for this holiday. In case you don’t know, Canadian Thanksgiving is the first Monday of October. It’s lovely. It’s delightful. And I never have to choose between families for the holiday, but it’s just not the same. Maybe because there’s nothing like going home.

One of the things I can’t wait to get home for is my mother’s pumpkin pie. Her sausage stuffing is also legend in our family but, as you know, I’m all about pumpkin. She always makes an extra pie that gets hidden in our refrigerator. It’s the covert pie that no one knows about. We like to share it after the rest of the family has tore apart the formal one created for dessert. Our covert pie has no crust, since mom and I usually want to do without the calories. It’s our little secret and it usually lasts us the rest of the holiday weekend. We actually pick away at it, two spoons in hand, no plates. However, this year, I found a recipe for a flour-less crust that I had to try. I completely switched up the ingredients to arrive at this nutty and spicy mix that confirms I never need to eat a pumpkin pie with a proper crust again, especially after trying this. I also made mini pies since that’s how I usually (Read: should) eat my pie. One piece, that’s it. For some reason, having to start an entirely new mini pie feels silly. However, I can slice another and another and another little sliver out of a full pie no problem. It’s how I end up having too much. Way. Too. Much.

Photos by Maya Visnyei

 

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Flour-less Crust

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1 (14 oz can) organic pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Greek style yogurt

Method

Preheat oven to 350.

For the crust, put all the ingredients into your food processor and pulse until they are a fine grain. Transfer crumbs into pie plate or mini tart tins.

Press evenly into pie plate or tins. Put aside.

For the filling, place all the ingredients into your food processor and pulse until blended.

Pour filling into prepared crusts.

For a pie, bake for 1 hour until filling is firm. For mini pies, bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until filling is firm.

Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Scarlett was as sick as a dog the day we made these mini pies. She doesn’t look it but, trust me, you wouldn’t want to have eaten them. I’m pretty sure she sneezed about a dozen time in their vicinity. I promise this wasn’t my excuse to eat them all myself. Sorry Anne! I never dropped any off to you because of the excessive sneezing, not because I’m a pie hoarder.

I used ramekins for my mini pies but it would have been better to use proper pie tins. However, I didn’t get to the store. I had a sick little girl, so there you go. You do what you can.

I always put parchment underneath Scarlett’s spice measuring work space. I can collect the overflow and put it back in the bottle so there is no waste. And, as you can see, we would have waste.

I really feel like Scarlett and I are a true team in the kitchen. There are so many things I can trust her with now that she’s older. Pouring a big, heavy jug of pumpkin pie mix would be one of those things. No. Spilling. For real.

I couldn’t wait to get home to the States to share these with my mom. I’m sure she’ll feel the same way I do about them–that they don’t disappoint. And, as tradition dictates, after everyone has gone, we’ll enjoy them curled up on the couch together. God, I love Thanksgiving.

This post was originally posted on November 21, 2011.

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4 Comments

  1. Christine
    January 13, 01:45 Reply

    These look great — love the flourless crust idea. Do you think I can substitute fresh pumpkin (which I have cubed in the freezer) for the canned?

    • Laura Keogh
      January 13, 08:14 Reply

      Hi Christine,
      Yes, I think cubed will bevgreat if you puree them. Just watch to see if it’s a liitle too wet from the moisture. May need a bit less milk.

  2. Carmen
    October 02, 22:54 Reply

    Is this cinnamon butter that is listed in your recipe an American product? I’ve never seen anything like that here. What is your suggested substitution??

    Thanks!

    Yes Americans do own this holiday, our Canadian version is a little more demure….

    • Laura Keogh
      October 02, 23:03 Reply

      Hi Carmen.

      Thanks for your note. The cinnamon butter is not an American product. I found my cinnamon butter at Whole Foods. However, you can make your own by mixing cinnamon into room temperature butter. Or, if you don’t have the time, just use regular butter. Let me know how it goes. Happy baking and happy Canadian thanksgiving. Demure or not, I love the chance to have two Thanksgivings! Best, Laura

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