Mini Pumpkin Pies with Spiced Whipped Cream

Crust & Filling recipe adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

Makes 12 small pies

Pie Crust:
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

1 15oz can pumpkin
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon shaved nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup half and half or milk

Spiced Whipped Cream:
½ cup heavy or whipping cream
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

For the crust:
In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and butter. Pulse until the flour begins to look like course bread crumbs (there should still be pea-size chunks of butter in the dough).

Transfer the flour mixture into a mixing bowl and slowly add in the water, mixing it as you go until the all of the flour is moistened. I use my hands for this step but you can also use a fork to distribute the water.

Pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 30 seconds. Form the dough into a small round disk, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and roll out until it is roughly a 9x13 rectangle. It should be pretty thin. Using a large glass or cup (roughly 4-5 inches in diameter), cut out circles of dough and mold them into the muffin cups. You will probably need to re-roll the dough out once or twice in order to use it all up. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling:

Meanwhile, Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Beat in the eggs until just combined and then stir in the milk or cream.

Remove the refrigerated muffin baking sheet. Carefully pour filling into the pastry shells, until they are almost full but don’t go above the top of the crust. Cover the sheet lightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a pie comes out clean.

Remove the pies from the oven and gently transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool. You may share if you like, or hog them all to yourself.
For the whipped cream:

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form in the cream. Spoon as much as you wish over baked pies.