Whether you're planning a party, or just looking for something fun to make this Halloween, Carol Hilker's mini pumpkin pies are the ideal, spooky treat. These delicious Jack-o'-lanterns look great amongst the festivities, and are perfect if sweet and cozy is what you're looking for this October!
For the pastry
260 g/2½ cups plain/all-purpose flour
40 g/3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
230 g/2 sticks butter, chilled and diced
1 large/extra large egg yolk, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten, mixed with 30 ml/2 tablespoons milk for egg wash
For the filling
140 g/¾ cup canned pumpkin purée (such as Libby’s)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
1 large/extra large egg
¼ teaspoon salt
75 ml/⅓ cup honey
a 7.5-cm/3-in. pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter
24 wooden ice lolly/popsicle sticks
* If you can’t buy pumpkin pie spice, make your own by blending 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ teaspoon each ground nutmeg and allspice. Any not used can be stored in an airtight container.
To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Add the butter and mix on high for 10 seconds, or until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Put the egg yolk in a bowl and pour in 60 ml/¼ cup ice-cold water. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the egg mixture to the butter and flour and pulse in the food processor for 20–30 seconds, until the mixture just starts to come together. It should be sticking together, not crumbly. Wrap the pastry with clingfilm/plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
To make the filling, heat the pumpkin purée and spice in a saucepan set over medium heat, just long enough for the spices to become fragrant. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool. When the filling comes to room temperature, whisk in the egg, salt and honey and chill in the refrigerator.
Put the pastry on a floured work surface and roll out to a 3-mm/1⁄8-in. thickness. Stamp out 48 pastry shapes using the cookie cutter. Use a sharp knife to cut out scary or fun faces from 24 of the shapes and put in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
Take the pastry pumpkins from the refrigerator, coat with egg wash and lay on a baking sheet 2.5 cm/1 in. apart. Put a wooden stick in the middle of the plain pastry shapes, then add 1–2 tablespoons of pumpkin filling. Top each with a pastry shape with a cut-out face and seal the edges of the pies by crimping the pastry with a fork. Brush all the pies with egg wash. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, or until golden brown. Take care when serving as the filling may still be hot.
Why not top off the festivities with some Gingerbread Hot Chocolate or Cider Punch?
For more pumpkin recipes perfect for Halloween, and all year round, check out I Heart Pumpkin.