Mini pecan pies are a convenient, handheld way to serve everybody’s favorite pie at an autumn afternoon tea, Thanksgiving, or baby shower! They’re two bites and full of that gooey filling that makes pecan pie so good!
Today I have an extra-fun post for you! Daniela from Tea Cachai invited me to be part of a virtual tea party in which I and a few other bloggers are all “bringing” an item to the party! We’re all publishing recipes together today to create a complete afternoon tea menu (which you can find at the end of this post), including some classic scones, several tea sandwiches, and an assortment of delightful miniature desserts.
I’m truly a sucker for miniatures. Maybe that’s why I love afternoon tea so much. What more could I want besides tiny sandwiches, little scones, and two-bite desserts?
Pies, to me, make ideal candidates for miniaturization. I theoretically love cake and pie, but after the first slice I forget it’s there, and it seems too big a commitment to get out a plate and a knife and cut off another big piece.
But little bite-sized pies? Now you’re talking.
Pecan pie is one of my favorites for fall, so miniature ones made in a mini muffin tin make a perfect addition to an autumn afternoon tea menu.
These mini pecan pie bites are tiny, handheld, and dangerously addictive. They have a bit more crust-to-filling ratio than a slice of a big pie but are full of pecans and the same ooey-gooey filling you’re craving. I would highly recommend topping them with a little dollop of homemade whipped cream to really round out the flavor.
How to make mini pecan pie bites
These are so quick to prep it could be dangerous.
You can use a homemade or store-bought pie crust to make these. One single crust should get you about 18 mini pies. I managed to get 19 out of mine, which is great in case one gets damaged or you just… want to taste-test one before your party. Which you should. But you may not be able to stop at just one.
I used a 2-3/4″ biscuit cutter to cut out your rounds but you could go probably a quarter inch in either direction. If you don’t have a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter that size, see if you can use a glass turned upside down instead.
You’ll press the crust rounds into a well-greased mini muffin pan. My mini muffin pan only has 12 spots so I had to bake mine in two batches, so if you’re buying a new one you may want to consider one like this one (affiliate link) that has 24 cups. I prick the bottoms with a fork so air doesn’t get trapped underneath, which could turn into an overflowing disaster as you bake it and the bubble gets bigger, pushing the filling out of such a tiny space.
Mixing up the filling couldn’t be easier. You stir together everything but the pecans (corn syrup is a must for pecan pie — it’s one of the only things I use it for, but it’s really necessary to get the right results!) and then you add the pecans and stir to coat it.
I tested this recipe twice, once with “pecan chips” and once with “chopped pecans”. If you can find the pecan chips, they’re smaller than the chopped pecans and are perfect for these pecan pie bites. If you get the chopped ones, they will work fine but you may want to chop them even a little smaller.
Each mini pie gets one tablespoon of filling. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s exactly the right amount for these two-bite mini pecan pies — you still get that gooey filling underneath with the pecans adorning the top.
They bake just below the center of the oven. I move my rack one spot down; this helps everything bake evenly without the tops getting overly browned too soon. If they do start looking a little dark on top partway through baking, you can tent them with tin foil to keep the tops from burning.
One batch of these I made had a terrible time sticking to the pan after they were cool. I had to slide a knife around the edges, which doesn’t quite work as well on a pie this small and ends up damaging the crusts.
To keep the mini pecan pies from sticking, I have three pieces of advice:
- Make sure your mini muffin tin is well-greased.
- Don’t over-fill the pies. The filling will rise and bubble as they bake.
- If the filling does bubble over the edges a little during baking (which several of mine did, despite not over-filling them), take advantage of the fact that the sugar is still liquid while hot. Remove those pies while they’re still warm so the sugar doesn’t cool, solidify, and essentially glue your mini pies to the pan.
After they’re done, all you have left to do is top them with little dollops of homemade whipped cream! It really rounds out the flavor and makes these just perfect.
How to store mini pecan pies
One of the great things about these pecan pie bites is that you can make them in advance, which makes your afternoon tea or party preparations that much less stressful!
You can store these in an airtight container in the fridge for several days, or you can freeze them. Just let them come to room temperature before topping with whipped cream and serving.
What to serve with your mini pecan pies
Here’s the rest of the menu from the virtual tea party!
- Chicken roasted red pepper tea sandwiches from Daniela at Tea Cachai
- Lapsang walnut vegan cream cheese tea sandwiches from Daniela at Tea Cachai
- Classic English scones from Lu Ann at The Teacup of Life
- Mini apple cider donuts from Naz at Tea Thoughts
I think this is a great idea not only for a virtual party, but for a real one. I’d love to have everyone bring a tea party course for an easy and fun afternoon tea, especially if we ended up with a menu as delicious as this one!
Like mini pecan pies? Try these recipes too!
Did you make this recipe?
Tag me in a photo on Instagram @pinchmeimeating and I may feature you in my IG stories! I’d love to see how yours came out!
Mini pecan pies
- 1 pie crust
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp melted butter slightly cooled
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans I used pecan chips, since they’re very small!
- Whipped cream if desired (totally recommended)
- Set an oven rack one level below center. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Roll pie crust into about a 12 inch circle. For a premade pie crust, this just takes a few gentle rolls in each direction to stretch it slightly. Cut 18 rounds out of the pie crust using a 2-1/2″ to 3″ round cookie cutter. (I used a biscuit cutter which is about 2-3/4″ in diameter. You can also use a glass if you don’t have one). I got about 14 out of the first circle and re-rolled the scraps to get the remaining 4 rounds.
- Press rounds into a greased mini muffin tin and smooth out the sides so the edges aren’t all folded over themselves. Edges should go up to the top of the mini muffin tins. Prick the bottoms with a fork so air bubbles don’t get trapped underneath the dough. Chill in the refrigerator while mixing the filling.
- Mix together corn syrup, egg, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, and salt until well-blended. Add pecans and stir to combine.
- Fill each mini pie crust with 1 tbsp filling. Do not fill past the edge of the pie crusts — a little crust should stick up above the top of the filling in each mini pie. The filling will bubble and rise while baking and you want to avoid it spilling over if possible.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until filling is set. If the tops begin to brown too quickly after about 15 minutes, you can cover the top with tin foil for the remaining time.
- After removing from the oven, check to see if any filling has spilled over the edge of the crust. If it as, and it cools like that, the hardened melted sugar will essentially glue your mini pies to the muffin tins, making it very difficult to remove them without damaging the crust. Take those ones out of the mini muffin tin while still hot to avoid that issue!
- Top with dollops of whipped cream before serving, if desired.