Pumpkin and Pecans in one or two bites

ImageI’m not real keen on pumpkin pie, but I love pecans…and butter…and brown sugar…with just a little pumpkin in the mix. That’s what these tiny tarts are made of. One-Bite Pumpkin-Pecan Pies remind me of pecan tassies, those rich little treats that often show up on holiday cookie trays. A little pumpkin and spice added to the mix adds delicious depth of flavor, so when you pop the first tiny pie into your mouth you get a delightful surprise. Especially if you were expecting pecans only.

The recipe I used comes from the book, “Our Favorite Recipes,” compiled by the Claremont Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Serving Sullivan County (whoa, that’s a much bigger mouthful than a One-Bite Pie!). It comes from Claremont, New Hampshire.

I made just a couple of changes to the recipe, using organic unsweetened coconut milk beverage instead of milk and also added some Bacardi Gold rum. Mmmm, good flavor. The filling is baked in little cream cheese pastry crusts.

Each One-Bite Pumpkin-Pecan Pie offers just enough pumpkin for my tastebuds. I served the mini-Pies to dinner guests the other evening. Two One-Bite Pumpkin-Pecan Pies per serving snuggled up to a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with homemade caramel sauce was a happy ending to our meal.

I’ve got some of the baked Pies in my freezer. I’ll be pulling them out at Thanksgiving. No pumpkin pie for me, thank you. A couple of One-Bite Pumpkin-Pecan Pies is all I’ll need.


One-Bite Pumpkin-Pecan Pies


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour


1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut milk beverage (or milk)
1 tablespoon Bacardi Gold rum
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325°F.

For pastry, beat butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl until creamy. Stir in flour. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Press dough evenly in bottom and up sides of ungreased miniature (1 3/4-inch) muffin pans. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 10 minutes.

While pastry cups are baking, prepare filling by combining 1/2 cup brown sugar, pumpkin, egg yolk, melted butter, coconut milk, rum, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Make topping by combining pecans, brown sugar and 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Spoon pumpkin filling into warm pastry cups. Sprinkle topping over each one. Bake in 325-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully loosen the pies and remove from pans. Serve warm or cool completely on wire racks. Makes 2 dozen one-bite pies.

Tip from the cook

Baked One-Bite Pumpkin-Pecan Pies can be packed and tightly sealed into a freezer container. I’ll be pulling mine out in about 5 weeks.


Sue Doeden is a popular cooking instructor, food writer and integrative nutrition health coach. She is the host of Good Food, Good Life 365 on Lakeland Public Television. Her own hives full of hardworking bees and her love of honey led to the creation of her recently published cookbook, Homemade with Honey.