These mini tarts are the perfect hand-held dessert for your holiday get-togethers. Not only are they fun to make and fun to eat, but they taste AMAZING! They might even be better than traditional pumpkin pie!
I’m always looking for an excuse to make these yummy, delectable, mini pumpkin pie tarts! They are not only delicious, but they are so much fun to make! Whenever I make them, they are a huge hit – and they go fast! They are a perfect dessert to serve at a brunch, ladies’ tea, or any holiday gathering. And trust me, leftovers won’t be a problem. I made these one year for a Christmas party, and my kids told me to be sure to bring home the leftovers! Unfortunately, they went fast, and I came home empty-handed. To say my kids were disappointed was an understatement!
To Make This Recipe:
The filling is similar to traditional pumpkin pie, except for the use of cream cheese. This helps to make the filling a little thicker, which works better for a tart. Mix all your filling ingredients together until well-combined. Set it aside.
For the crust, it’s easiest to use a pre-made pie crust. Not the one already in a pie pan, but a rolled one that you can unroll, flat. Using the cutters that come with the tart pan, you can cut out 12 tart crusts per pie crust, just be sure to cut them out close together. Center the cut-out crust over the tart well, and using the tart press that came with the set, press the crust into the well. Press firmly and evenly. Repeat for the remaining tarts until all twelve are complete.
Spoon about one tablespoon of pumpkin filling into each of the prepared tart crust. It is should be a little more than 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 14-16 minutes, or until the filling is puffed up and the crust is lightly golden.
Allow the tarts to cool for a couple of minutes before removing them from the pan. The easiest way to remove them is to use a toothpick. Just slip the toothpick down along the edge and pop out the tart. Allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Stick the tart pan in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool it quickly before adding more crust to the pan. Your pan must be completely cooled before you proceed. Repeat the process for the remaining tarts.
I always have extra filling. But I don’t let it go to waste. Just put whatever filling you have left into an oven-safe bowl and bake it with the last pan of tarts. Depending on how much you have left, it might need to bake for 10 or 15 minutes longer than the tarts, for a total of 25-30 minutes. Just keep an eye on it. It will be done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow your tarts to cool completely, usually 1-2 hours. Place them in the refrigerator while you prepare the whipped cream.
The Whipped Cream:
For this recipe, I wanted a whipped cream that could withstand being left out for a while without melting and losing its shape. Whipped cream in a can has no staying power and will melt in minutes. Cool whip does a little better. But I prefer to use a stabilized form of homemade whipped cream. This recipe for whipped cream uses unflavored gelatin as the stabilizer – and trust me, it has great holding power! Your whipped cream will still look beautiful on your tarts after sitting out for an hour!
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over cold water and stir. Let the gelatin stand for a minute until it is absorbed by the water. Microwave the gelatin mixture on high for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the gelatin has melted and the mixture is clear. Set it aside.
- In a bowl, begin whipping the heavy cream until it just begins to thicken. Gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue whipping until soft peaks form. Next, add in the vanilla bean paste and liquified gelatin, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. This whole process happens quickly. Be careful not to over-whip.
- Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, and pipe a large star of whipped cream atop each mini pumpkin tart.
Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts
- Mini Tart Pan
- 3 Pillsbury refrigerated Pie Crusts
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup cold, heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. Set aside.
- Unroll one of the pie crust onto a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Using the cutter from the **Williams-Sonoma Tartlet Baking Set, cut out 12 portions of dough from the crust. (If you cut them out close together, you can get 12 from each round pie crust).
- Center each piece of crust on top of the wells in the tart pan, then using the tartlet press, carefully place the crust into the tart pan. Press gently but firmly until the crust reaches the top of the pan. Repeat for all 12 tarts.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of pumpkin filling into each prepared crust until almost full, a little more than ¾ full.
- Bake the tarts in the preheated oven for 14-16 minutes, until the filling is puffed and the crust slightly golden.
- Allow the tarts to cool for 2 minutes in the pan, then remove them to a cooling rack to cool completely. **The easiest way to remove the tart is with a toothpick. Slide the toothpick down the side of the tart well and pop the tart out.
- Place the tart pan in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool it quickly before adding more pie crust to the pan. **The pan must be completely cooled before adding more crust.
- Repeat the process for the second and third round of pie crust.
- Allow the tarts to cool completely, then store them in the refrigerator while preparing the whipped topping.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and stir. Let the gelatin stand for a minute until it is absorbed by the water. Microwave the gelatin mixture on high for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the gelatin has melted and the mixture is clear. Set it aside.
- In a bowl, begin whipping the heavy cream until it just begins to thicken. Gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, and continue whipping until soft peaks form. Next, add the vanilla bean paste and liquified gelatin, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. This whole process happens quickly. Be careful not to over-whip.
- Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, and pipe a large star of whipped cream atop each mini pumpkin tart. Serve immediately or store up to three days.