If you're looking for a delicious dessert that is both cute and satisfying, mini cream pies in muffin tins are an excellent choice. These treats are perfect for parties, potlucks, or even just a special dessert at home. And the best part is that they are surprisingly easy to make! In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of making mini cream pies in muffin tins, from preparing the crust to adding toppings.
Ingredients needed for making mini cream pies
Before we start, let's go over the ingredients that you'll need to make these mini cream pies. Here's what you'll need:
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup of milk or heavy cream
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup of cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
- Whipped cream and fresh fruit (optional, for topping)
Now that you have your ingredients ready, let's start making some mini cream pies!
First, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and heavy cream, and mix until the dough comes together.
Next, roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out circles using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. Press the circles into the muffin tin, making sure to press the dough up the sides of each cup. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown.
While the crusts are baking, prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk or heavy cream, sugar, eggs, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, if using.
Once the crusts are done baking, let them cool for a few minutes before removing them from the muffin tin. Spoon the filling into each crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until set. Before serving, top with whipped cream and fresh fruit, if desired.
Preparing the muffin tin for mini cream pies
It's important to start by preparing your muffin tin for the mini cream pies. You'll need a 12-cup muffin tin for this recipe. To make sure your pies come out easily and without any sticking, lightly grease each cup with cooking spray or butter. If you prefer, you can also use muffin tin liners instead of greasing the cups.
Another important tip for preparing the muffin tin is to make sure it's clean and dry before adding the pie crusts. Any moisture or leftover residue can cause the crusts to stick or become soggy. You can wipe the muffin tin with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to ensure it's ready for the pie crusts.
Making the pie crust for mini cream pies
The first step in making mini cream pies is to prepare the crust. To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Then, add in the room temperature butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix in the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly and resembles wet sand. Add in the egg yolk and heavy whipping cream and mix until the mixture comes together and forms a dough.
Once the dough has formed, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the dough to rest and become easier to work with. After the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface to about ⅛ inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles that will fit into your mini pie tins.
Before adding the filling to the mini pie crusts, it's important to blind bake them. To do this, preheat your oven to 375°F. Line each mini pie crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crusts are lightly golden brown. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and let the crusts cool completely before adding the cream filling.
Rolling out the dough for the mini cream pies crust
After you've prepared the dough, you'll need to roll it out so that it's thin enough to fit inside the muffin cups. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out to about ⅛-inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter or a drinking glass that's about the same size as the muffin cups to cut out circles of dough.
Once you've cut out the circles of dough, gently press them into the muffin cups, making sure to press the dough up against the sides of the cups. You can use a fork to prick the bottom of the dough to prevent it from puffing up during baking. Place the muffin tin in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow the dough to chill and firm up before baking.
If you want to add some extra flavor to your mini cream pies, you can sprinkle some cinnamon or sugar on top of the dough before baking. This will give the crust a delicious, sweet crunch that pairs perfectly with the creamy filling. Once the crusts are baked and cooled, you can fill them with your favorite cream pie filling and enjoy!
Cutting the dough to fit into muffin tins
Once you've cut out the circles of dough, gently press each one into the muffin cups, making sure that the sides and bottoms are evenly covered. If there is any excess dough, simply trim it off with a knife or kitchen shears. Place the prepared muffin tin with the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill.
Making the filling for mini cream pies
While the dough is chilling, you can start preparing the filling for your mini cream pies. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk or heavy cream, sugar, and cornstarch over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
Adding flavors to the cream pie filling
If you want to add some extra flavor to your mini cream pies, you can add vanilla extract or other flavorings to the filling. Once you've removed the pan from the heat, stir in any flavorings that you'd like to use.
Filling muffin tins with mini cream pie filling
After the filling has cooled slightly, take your prepared muffin tin with the crusts out of the refrigerator and fill each cup about three-quarters full with the cream filling. Smooth out the tops with a spoon until they are even. If you have any leftover filling, you can save it for another pie or spoon it over the top of the baked pies at the end.
Baking and cooling time for mini cream pies
Once the muffin cups are filled with the cream filling, it's time to bake them. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the muffin tin in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown and the filling is set. After the pies are done baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Decorating tips for mini cream pies
If you want to add some extra flair to your mini cream pies, you can use whipped cream and fresh fruit as toppings. Once the pies are cool, you can pipe whipped cream on top of each pie or add a dollop by spoon. Then, add some fresh fruit like sliced strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries on top.
Serving suggestions and storage tips for mini cream pies
Mini cream pies are best served chilled. You can store these pies in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you want to freeze them, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and they will keep for up to three months in the freezer.
Variations of mini cream pies you can make
If you want to get creative with your mini cream pies, there are plenty of variations you can try. For example, you can make chocolate cream pies by adding chocolate chips to the filling. You can also make lemon or lime cream pies by adding zest and juice to the filling. The possibilities are endless!
Frequently asked questions about making mini cream pies in muffin tins
Here are some frequently asked questions about making mini cream pies in muffin tins:
- Q: Can I make the dough and filling ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the dough and filling and store them separately in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake the pies.
- Q: Can I use pre-made pie dough instead of making my own? A: Yes, you can use pre-made pie dough as a shortcut.
- Q: Can I substitute the heavy cream for a non-dairy milk? A: Yes, you can use non-dairy milk like almond milk or soy milk as a substitution.
Tips and tricks for perfecting your mini cream pie recipe
Here are some tips and tricks to perfect your mini cream pies:
- Don't overfill the muffin cups with the filling, or the pies might overflow while baking.
- Chill the dough before baking to help the crust hold its shape and prevent shrinking.
- Make sure to let the pies cool completely before serving or the filling might be runny.
The benefits of making mini desserts
Making mini desserts like these mini cream pies has several benefits. For one, they're easier to portion out and control your portions. Plus, they're perfect for sharing and make a great addition to any party or gathering. And of course, they're just downright adorable!
How to make your own whipped cream topping for your mini cream pies
If you don't have pre-made whipped cream, you can easily make your own. Simply combine 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
How to use different types of fruit toppings with your mini cream pies
If you want to switch up your toppings, you can try using different types of fruit. Some popular options include sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or even kiwi. You can also use fruit preserves or caramel sauce as toppings.
There you have it - a step-by-step guide to making mini cream pies in muffin tins! With this recipe, you'll be able to create bite-sized treats that will impress your guests and satisfy your sweet tooth. So go ahead and give it a try - we promise, it's easier than it looks!