A Delightful Mini Pies Dessert Board

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

When it comes to seasonal sweets and eats, you can't go wrong with homemade pie. But if you're searching for a fun, nontraditional way to serve the dish, you're going to love this dessert board project. It features easy recipes for three autumn pies—apple, pumpkin and pecan—but in adorable mini sizes.

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The trick is to bake the pies in muffin tins. However, you can also use individual mini pie pans made of aluminum or metal. From there, style the pie tarts on a wooden cutting board with cookies, grapes and other fall foods. You can even accent the board with fresh herbs and dried wheat for a cozy, seasonal look.

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Plus, unlike traditional pies, these mini versions don't require plates or forks to eat. You can eat them by hand just like you would muffins or cupcakes. This makes them excellent for serving guests while limiting dirty dishes. It's a win-win.

So, grab your muffin tins and let's get baking!

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Recipe 1: Mini Apple Pies

Things You'll Need

  • Muffin tin

  • Butter or cooking spray

  • 2 pie crusts

  • 4-inch circle cookie cutter, cup or plastic lid

  • 3 cups apple pie filling

  • Seasonal pie crust cutters (optional)

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

You can use your favorite pie crust recipe. But if you want to speed up prep time, feel free to use store-bought pie crusts and premade apple pie filling.

How to make mini apple pies

1. Cut the pie crust dough into circles

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.

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Roll out the pie crusts on a parchment- or silicone-lined surface. Using a 4-inch circle cookie cutter, cut out 10 to 12 circles. You will likely need to re-roll the leftover dough to get 12 circles.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

If you don’t have a circle cookie cutter, you can use a cup or the lid of a plastic container. We used the lid of a protein powder tub, which worked perfectly.

Using your fingers, press the circles of dough into the muffin tin. Be sure to flatten the bottom and sides of each cavity, making sure the top edges are even.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

2. Fill and bake the mini apple pies

Fill each cavity with about 1/4 cup of apple pie filling. You can even add a woven lattice pie crust or seasonal shapes on top.

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Bake the mini pies for 16 to 18 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the apple filling is bubbling. Note that every oven is different, so the total baking time might be slightly longer or shorter.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Recipe 2: Mini Pumpkin Pies

Things You'll Need

  • Muffin tin

  • Butter or cooking spray

  • 2 pie crusts

  • 4-inch circle cookie cutter, cup or plastic lid

  • 15 ounces canned pure pumpkin puree

  • 12 ounces canned sweetened condensed milk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • Seasonal pie crust cutters (optional)

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Again, don’t hesitate to use shortcuts, especially if you’re pressed for time. Feel free to use store-bought pumpkin pie filling for this recipe. You could even skip the pie dough completely and use store-bought mini graham cracker pie crusts.

How to make mini pumpkin pies

1. Prepare the pie dough

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.

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Line your work surface with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Roll out the pie dough and then cut out 10 to 12 circles using a 4-inch circle cookie cutter. You will likely need to re-roll leftover dough to create 12 circles.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Press the circles of dough into the muffin tin. Use your fingers to flatten the bottom and sides of each cavity, making sure the top edges are even.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

2. Make the pumpkin pie filling

In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin spice. Mix until just combined, taking care to avoid overmixing.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

To make your own pumpkin spice, combine 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. You can use more or less of certain spices depending on your taste buds.

3. Fill and bake your mini pumpkin pies

Fill the pie crusts until each one is about 2/3 full. Top with pie crust cutouts if you'd like.

To complete this mini pumpkin pie recipe, bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the pumpkin pie is set. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the filling.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

You will likely have leftover pumpkin pie filling. Use it to make more pumpkin desserts or pumpkin pie stuffed French toast. Alternatively, you can mix it with cream cheese first for pumpkin cheesecake French toast.

Recipe 3: Mini Pecan Pies

Things You'll Need

  • Muffin tin

  • Butter or cooking spray

  • 2 pie crusts

  • 4-inch circle cookie cutter, cup or plastic lid

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 6 tablespoons light corn syrup

  • Ground cinnamon and salt

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • Seasonal pie crust cookies (optional)

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

You can also use chopped walnuts or a combination of walnuts and pecans.

How to make mini pecan pies

1. Prepare the pie dough and muffin pan

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.

Line your work surface with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Roll out the pie dough and then use a 4-inch circle cookie cutter, cup or lid to cut out 10 to 12 circles. Re-roll the leftover dough as necessary to get 12 circles.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Press the dough into the muffin tin, making sure to flatten the bottom and sides.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

2. Prepare the pecan pie filling

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, melted butter, vanilla extract and corn syrup. Add a dash of ground cinnamon and salt. Stir well and then fold in the pecans until coated.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

3. Fill and bake your mini pecan pies

Fill each pie crust until it's about 2/3 full. Keep in mind that the filling will rise, so avoid adding too much. Top with leftover pie dough cutouts if you're using them.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is set. As always, keep in mind that the total time might vary depending on your exact oven.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Final Step: Make a Mini Pie Dessert Board

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden cutting board

  • Whipped cream

  • Chocolate or caramel sauce

  • Mini pumpkins

  • Apples

  • Mini pies

  • Grapes

  • Seasonal cookies, like gingersnaps

  • Fresh herbs, for styling

  • Dried wheat stems, for styling

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

How to make a mini pie dessert board

1. Start your board with a focal point

It's easier to style a dessert board around a single "centerpiece" ingredient. For our board, we used a bowl of whipped cream in the center and then added a small bowl of chocolate sauce. Guests can add a dollop of either topping to their mini pies.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

2. Add pumpkins, apples and pies (oh my!)

The next biggest items are the mini pumpkin and apples. Add them to the board around the whipped cream.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Now, here's where your board really starts to come together. Place the pies around the board, stacking them on top of each other. You can keep like pies together or mix them up.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

3. Fill in the spaces

To tie everything together, fill in the gaps with smaller items, such as cookies. Grapes and berries are great for filling in random spaces.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Finally, tuck fresh herbs and dried wheat stems into the leftover gaps. This will help create texture and add color to your board.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Pro Tip: How to Store Mini Pies

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, apple pies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. You can also store them in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

Pumpkin and pecan pies should be stored in the refrigerator because they contain eggs. They'll last for three to four days when stored in an airtight container.

Happy fall baking!

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