By Rachel Comish
One of the European customs that I fell in love with was going to little patisseries and getting fruit tarts. It was the most quaint thing in the world to eat a teeny tiny little pie. There’s something about miniature desserts that seems so cute and classy. As an avid dessert maker/eater, this idea really stuck with me.
I’m not the only dessert person in my family. One of my favorite things to do with my sisters (when we’re not watching Gilmore Girls and eating Ben & Jerry ice cream) is baking.
While baking for a party, my sister discovered that if you take a muffin pan and a lemon bar recipe you can make delicious lemon tarts. So I took that and went a step further with a mini muffin pan and a pumpkin pie recipe.
Here is a great Pie Crust recipe for mini Pumpkin Pies:
Mix in a large bowl:
3 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup shortening
Cut the shortening into the flour until it forms pea sized lumps. Do not over mix.
Mix in a small bowl:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
5 Tablespoons cold water
Add second mixture to first mixture.
Roll into cookie sized balls and press into pan.
Pour filling onto crust. For the pumpkin filling recipe, just look on a can of Libby’s 100% pumpkin.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, depending on size.
I like to squirt a little whipped cream on each mini pie, but that can melt pretty fast so keep them cold. And these pies don’t have to be pumpkin, you can fill them with cream cheese and berries, pudding, or even diced apples.
For lemon tarts, just take this lemon bar recipe and stick it in a muffin pan.
1 cup softened butter
½ cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
Press crust into pan and cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
4 beaten eggs
2 cups white sugar
¼ cup flour
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
Combine sugar and flour before mixing with eggs and lemon juice.
Pour filling onto crust. Bake an additional 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Let the tarts cool, then sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
Brownies are also a good dessert to bake in a muffin pan for individual mini brownies, which I would definitely recommend eating with whipped cream
I also like to melt candy on pretzels. Just lay out pretzels on a plate, set a piece of candy on each pretzel (my favorite are Rolos) and heat for 10-15 seconds.
Another goodie is filled strawberries. Just cut out the middle along with the stem, fill it with a bit of cream cheese and whipped cream, and freeze. You can also fill the strawberries with Nutella, or dip the strawberries in chocolate.
Clearly, there is no end to the novelty of bite sized deliciousness. So have fun being creative, and enjoy feasting on your hard work.