Metro-East Living

Gather Thanksgiving Day guests for unique holiday desserts

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust
Mini Pumpkin Pies with Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust

Dessert is always on my mind. I had to restrain myself Sunday evening during a Friendsgiving in Belleville. On the dessert table were two pumpkin pies, two pecan pies, cheesecake and a peach dump cake. Needless to say, by the end of the evening, there weren’t many leftovers.

So, what to make for Thanksgiving? Pie is typically the classic choice, but you don’t have to stop there. The recipe here for Mini Pumpkin Pies with Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust is simple, but what a standout idea: unroll refrigerated pie crust, baste with butter, sprinke with cinnamon, reroll and cut pieces to fit in a mini muffin tin. Think of the possibilities beyond pumpkin pie!

And while my favorite pie is pecan, I am quite taken with this recipe for Maple-Nut Pie, mostly because I think there should be more recipes with maple syrup in them. That simple!

Contact me at, 618-239-2664 and follow me on Twitter @BoyleSuzanne. Write to 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

My mistake ...

Last week in a recipe for Cherry Marshmallow Magic Cake, two errors were made in the list of ingredients, which should be 1 box white or yellow cake mix, 1 1/4 cups water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 3 whole eggs, 4 cups mini marshmallows and a 21-ounce can cherry pie filling.

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust


1 box refrigerated pie crust

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon cinnamon

10 tablespoons sugar


1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1 large egg

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

Whipped cream for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Unroll pie crusts, use a basting brush to coat one side with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar per pie crust.

Roll pie crust back into a log. Cut into 3/4 pieces.

Spray two 12-count mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Press the cut pieces of pie into the bottom of each cup, pressing with your thumb to move the cinnamon swirl all the way up the sides of the muffin cup, and making a well in the center of the muffin cup.

In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining sugar, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and egg until smooth and well combined. Spoon mixture into the center of each cinnamon-roll crust.

Bake in oven for 12-18 minutes, or just until the edges of the crust have turned a light golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly before removing mini pies from the muffin tins. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Makes 24.

Maple-Nut Pie

All-purpose flour, for work surface

1 recipe all-purpose piecrust

4 cups coarsely chopped raw nuts (your choice)

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons whipping or heavy cream, divided

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon flaked sea salt (such as Maldon), divided

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the lowest position.

On a floured surface, roll pie dough to a 13-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under to align with the rim of the plate; crimp. Chill at least 15 minutes.

Toast nuts, in a single layer, on a baking sheet, stirring once, until lightly toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely.

Whisk together egg, vanilla and 1/4 cup cream in a bowl.

Bring brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in toasted nuts. Quickly stir in cream mixture. Pour hot filling into crust.

Bake until filling is bubbling in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool, on a wire rack, at least 1 hour.

Microwave chocolate and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons cream, stirring at 20-second intervals, until melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Drizzle over pie, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.