These mini pumpkin pies are such a fun Thanksgiving treat! These pies are baked in mason jar lids and filled with flaky pie crust and maple-sweetened pumpkin pie filling. They’re cookie-sized but with all the deliciousness of a pumpkin pie.
What makes this mini pumpkin pies so good?
Not only are these mini pumpkin pies SO cute, but they also taste amazing!
The pie crust is made with lard instead of butter, creating the lightest most tender texture. This is how my grandma made her pie dough as she said it was the secret to achieving the most delicious flaky pie. After this recipe, I’m a true believer.
Lard has a higher melting point than butter, so it makes the crust so easy to work with and it doesn’t absorb into the flour as quickly as butter would. This creates tons of pockets of fat between layers of flour. Once baked, those pockets melt to create many many flaky layers.
As for the filling, these pumpkin pies are sweetened with maple syrup which gives them a delicious well-rounded flavor. Almost like the two are meant to be!
Once baked, these little pumpkin pies have the perfect ratio of crust to filling so these are especially great for pie crust lovers. They’re almost like eating a pumpkin pie cookie!
How to make an all lard pie crust
To be completely honest, I always struggle with pie dough. I have to try really hard to get the consistency just right and it always cracks on me when I roll it out.. that is until I made this all lard pie dough.
Since lard is so soft, the process of making the pie dough itself is SO quick and easy. There’s no cutting in hard lumps of butter, so working the lard into the flour takes seconds.
It also has a higher melting point than butter, so it doesn’t soften as rapidly while handling the dough. And because of this, the lard doesn’t dissolve into the flour as fast as butter which produces the FLAKIEST pie crust.
To enhance the flakiness even more, a bit of vinegar is added to the pie dough. This slows the strengthening process of the gluten strands in the flour, creating a super tender pie crust.
The dough then goes in the refrigerator for only 30 minutes which is just enough time to bring the lard back down to a chilled temperature.
How to bake mini pies in mason jar lids
What’s so unique about this recipe is how these mini pumpkin pies are baked. Typical mini pumpkin pies are baked in a cupcake tin, but I find the visual beauty of pie is lost in those little tiny cups.
Instead, these pies are baked in mason jar lids! They act just like a pie dish, just mini. For this recipe, I used 3 1/2 inch mason jar lids, but I’ve also baked these in smaller lids and as any size will work.
To line the lids, first cut out a circle that’s about 1/2 larger than the lid diameter. Press the dough into the pan and then fold in the excess overhang to create double layer sides. This helps reinforce the pies for a stronger shell.
From there, simply crimp the pie edges just like any other pie (only mini) and chill while we make the rest of the pies.
And since they’re mini, there’s also no need to blind bake the crusts. Just fill and bake!
Once baked, allow the pies to cool for about 30 minutes. Then, since the jar lids have a loose bottom, they just pop right out.
Can the dough be made a day in advance?
Yes, the dough can be made a day before and chilled overnight. Alternatively, the pie shells can also be formed and chilled overnight in an airtight container.
Can these mini pies be baked with a different pie filling?
Since they’re so mini, I believe this recipe would work well with most pie fillings. Pecan pie would work great! But if you are wanting to make a fruity pie, I suggest doubling the crust recipe so that each pie can be baked with a double crust.
Maple pumpkin pie toppings
Pumpkin pie just isn’t completely without whipped cream! Top each pie with store bought or homemade whipped cream – 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream whipped with 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar.
I also include instructions on how to create the decorative pie crust maple leaves on top. A little dusting of cinnamon also doesn’t hurt!
How to store mini pumpkin pies
Once baked and cooled, these pies can be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 5 days. They can also be served chilled or at room temperature.
For more Thanksgiving dessert recipes, check out my:
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Maple Brown Butter Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Apple Butter Spice Cake
- The BEST Pecan Pie
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make these mini pumpkin pies. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print