Monday, 28 November 2016

How to make mini spiced pumpkin pie bites

Every time I go home to my family house on the coast, I feel an overwhelming urge to bake. It might be something about my mum's cook book collection, or the fact that the ingredients are there waiting for me, but this weekend I was inspired by all the beginnings of Christmas cheer, so I baked a batch of these mini pumpkin pie bites.
I made my own pastry, just because I always have done, but you can skip that step out and buy a roll-out packet of shortcrust pastry if you're pushed for time. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg with sweet pumpkin centres, these look so adorable, taste amazing, and if you need to impress any visitors then whipping up a batch of these will take you next to no time.

// WHAT YOU NEED //

For the sweetened shortcrust pastry 
- 225g plain flour
- 100g butter
- 3-4ish tbsp milk (a splash really)
- 25g caster sugar
For the filling
- 200g pumpkin puree (around 2 cups)
- 150g soft cheese (Philadelphia)
- 100g caster sugar
- 2x eggs
- 2tsp ground all spice (sometimes called mixed spice)
- 1tsp vanilla

For the topping
-300ml double cream, whipped until thick
- cinnamon for sprinkling


Step by step

  1.  Make a pumpkin purée by chopping it up into small squares and boiling until soft then draining. Blend the cooked cubes in a processor or with a hand blender until smooth. Leave to cool.
  2.  If you're making the pastry yourself then weight out the flour and add in the softened butter. Chop it up into small cubes before adding it in, and then rub it in with the flour until it makes a breadcrumb-like texture.
  3. Add in the sugar and bring it all together into a ball by adding a splash of milk. Add a little first and if it still feels too dry and crumbly then add more milk. You want a smooth pastry that you can roll out. Wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to cool.
  4.  In another bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and the sugar, then slowly add in the pumpkin puree. Beat in the eggs one at a time and add a splash of vanilla flavouring and the ground all spice (a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves). 
  5.  Turn the oven on to 180C. Roll out the chilled pastry and use a medium sized round cookie cutter to make as many bases as you have enough for (around 15-20, depending on the size of it). Place them in the holes of a pre-buttered pastry tin (this usually comes as a 12 or a 24 cup version), making sure the pastry comes all the way up the sides as this is going to hold in the filling.
  6.  Blind bake the pastry bases, weighing them down with some baking beads to stop the pastry from puffing up in the oven. This should take around 12 minutes, but keep an eye out and take them out when they are pale and slightly golden.
  7. Take them out of the oven and fill each of them up to the brim with the pumpkin mixture. Put them straight back in the oven for another 12-15 minutes until the pastry around the edge is golden brown and the centre mix is set. Leave to cool then remove from the tins.
  8. Whisk up the cream until it's stiff and then dollop it onto the top of each pastry. Sprinkle over some cinnamon and they're ready to eat!

Happy baking! If you're giving them a go then let me know how you get on. Tag me in your shots on Instagram (@zoes.101), I'd love to see them x


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