Monday, January 09, 2012

Cae's Pumpkin Pie Pops!

This post comes from my friend, former NELP student, and now guest blogger, Cae Keenan! Though I have read a lot of Cae's writing before, it was mostly in the form of lovely journal entries and creative responses. I'm so excited to read and be inspired by her baking and bit of food writing. Here's what she has to tell us about her pumpkin pie pops...


The apple pie cookies over at Smitten Kitchen are what first got us goin’ on this mini pie kick. They are awfully cute – a new twist on a wonderfully old tradition. They also fit in the palm of your hand and you can walk up and down the stairs while eating, no problem! Suddenly, ‘the pie is mobile’ idea had us braving holiday rush hour traffic for the grocery store. We wanted to add a stick, turn this apple pie cookie into a pumpkin pie pop.

A word on the crust: homemade is tops. But if you’re in a pinch, spinning from a long To Do list, or, in our case, if the number of holiday dinner guests you’re expecting grossly outnumbers the hours left ‘til they show up hungry… yes, we used store-bought piecrusts. I ain’t proud of it, but it’s the truth.

So! Two 9-inch pie dough crusts will do it. If you'd like to use homemade crust, use the Nothing-in-the-House pie crust recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Pops
(With a few adjustments, adapted from Cakespy, via Serious Eats)

For the filling:
¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 15-ounce can of plain pumpkin puree
1 12-ounce can of condensed milk
Also:
1 egg for glazing
25 wooden skewers, lollipop or Popsicle sticks

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together the dry ingredients. Send the sugar, salt, and spices into a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 eggs. Add the pumpkin puree, the dry ingredients, and the condensed milk. Stir to combine. Set filling aside.

We were able to make 25 mini pies from the 2 pie dough crusts. Be mindful, though, that this means cutting out 50 little circles.
2. Roll out each piecrust on a floured surface. Even though our store bought (!) crusts came smooth, flat and round, we rolled each for a thinner pie pop crust – and to get 25 pops. Once the dough reaches your desired thickness, use a round cookie or biscuit cutter (I grabbed a small water glass and turned it over), and cut out 50 circles. Gather and re-roll the dough as needed to get as many pops from your dough as possible.

To assemble:
3. Lay the 25 bottom crusts across several cookie sheets, or work in batches. Press one wooden stick into each crust. Be sure the top of the stick reaches at least ½ way up the crust. Add a spoonful of filling in the center of each crust, covering the stick. (My sister Aidan says: “A small spoonful is crucial to avoid over-spillage or bursting pies.”) Top each bottom crust with its mate, Mates! Seal the seams of each pie by pressing a fork around the edges, all 360 degrees of the pop. Score the top of each pie pop with a small knife. (Aidan calls these “air breathers,” “slits,” or “filters.” We scored a few smiley faces, too.) Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl. Brush the top crusts with the egg wash… We also sprinkled sugar for added sparkle.

4. Bake, baby, bake. About 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven, carefully transfer to wire rack. Allow to cool and for sticks to set.  


Enjoy your pie pop. Walk around, talk on the phone, play the piano with your free hand while eating!

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