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These sweet and nutty mini pecan pies are perfect for someone who wants to sample all the desserts on the Thanksgiving table!
Pecan pie is a non-negotiable must on my Thanksgiving table. Sometimes it’s my favorite pie. Other times, it looses out to apple pie or pumpkin pie. It really all depends on my mood. Asking for a little slice just feels kind of lame to me.
I have become hooked on the idea of making mini desserts over the past few years. Thanks to these mini pies, now I don’t have to decide which pie to eat – I can put one of each on my plate.
These little bite-sized pies are perfect for a Thanksgiving buffet or with an assortment of other desserts on your holiday table. They are so good – you really don’t need the excuse of a holiday to make them.
The original, in every spiral-bound church cookbook pecan pie recipe calls for light corn syrup. It’s such a popular ingredient, I’ve even seen pecan pie recipes on the back of dark corn syrup bottles. But, I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite ingredient to cook with these days.
I tried to think of something that could be a good substitute for the corn syrup. Agave syrup was the right idea, but too thin – it made the filling sweet but didn’t do anything with the consistency. Honey just took over the flavor.
I thought maple syrup would do the same, but surprisingly it didn’t. It added just the right amount of sweetness and made the filling the consistency pecan pie is known for, and loved.
When making these mini pecan pies, all you need is regular size muffin pan. The mini muffin pans just don’t have the right ratio of pie shell to filling. Cutting out three inch rounds from pie dough and dropping them in the muffin cups, then filling them with filling makes a perfectly sized mini pecan pie with just the right ratio.
Other than the delicious taste, the best thing about this recipe is that the pies are done in just about 25 minutes. They can also be made ahead of time, stored in the freezer and thawed ahead of dinner.
Serve these along side an assortment of mini pies and with a bowl of fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, and everyone will make room for dessert. You’re welcome!
- TASTE: Sweet and nutty
- TEXTURE: The filing is soft, the pecans add crunch.
- EASE: Super easy!
- TIME: Just over a half an hour
What You’ll Need
- Pie crust – I make my own homemade crust but I’m ok if you use a store bought crust here.
- Maple syrup – This adds flavor and sweetness and eliminates the need for corn syrup.
- Light brown sugar – Depth and sweetness. Make sure it’s packed when you measure it out.
- Butter – Unsalted butter, melted
- Egg – Lightly beaten
- Vanilla extract – Use the best quality all natural extract you can find.
- Chopped pecans – A key ingredient. Don’t use roasted and salted pecans.
- Muffin pan
- Cookie cutter
How to Make Mini Pecan Pies
These adorable mini pecan pies come together quickly, and take less time to cook than a traditional pecan pie recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F so as soon as the pie filling is ready to go, you can pop them in the oven.
Prepare the crusts.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles from the dough.
Press each circle into the cavities of a 12-cup muffin pan, making sure the dough comes up the sides of the pan just a little. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Make the filling.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the pecans.
Fill the crusts and bake.
Remove the muffin pan from the refrigerator and add about 1 tablespoon of filling to each pie crust. Don’t let the filling doesn’t come up over the sides of the crust or it will spill out and burn.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer pies to a wire rack to cool completely.
1 tablespoon of dark rum or bourbon is a great addition to the filling.
Try adding ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips to the filling for a chocolate pecan pie
Tips For Success
Cut out the pie crust using a 3 inch cookie cutter. Dip the edges of the cookie cutter in flour to keep the dough from sticking. If you don’t have a cookie cutter you can also use the top of a glass, if it is about the same dimension, or a biscuit cutter.
Storage & Freezing
- Allow the pies to cool completely at room temperature then tent lightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Once the pies have cooled completely, wrap them tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a double layer of foil. They will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
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