Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Cup Pies! Pumpkin Ones!

I made cup pies! Pumpkin cup pies!

Look at my pumpkin cup pie!

Fans of Pushing Daisies will of course know that a cup pie is a single-serve pie with honey baked into the crust.

Chuck promotes cup pies to Ned in Pushing Daisies (Image source)

I've not baked in I can't remember how long... But this occasion all started with my plan to make pumpkin pie to take in as a Halloween treat for my workmates. I love pumpkin, seriously, love pumpkin. I think that it is intentionally designed to be hard to cut up because otherwise humans would simply overdose on it because it is so good. It's the only vegetable for which I am willing to make all that effort. 

However, I've only had pumpkin pie once or twice in my life, when I have been fed it by an American friend. I decided that it had been too long since I'd indulged in this wonderful treat and that I would break my baking drought with pumpkin pie. As I was going to take it into work, I thought it would make more sense to make small ones that I could distribute easily.

But it was when I found myself short of sugar for the pastry and The Cat suggested I make up the difference with honey that I realised I was actually making cup pies, with honey as the vital ingredient!

Honey - the secret cup pie ingredient.
That's Philip up on the cupboard - he watches over the Cat and I, cheering us up when we're down or stressed.

I used a recipe for sweet shortcrust pastry I got off the BBC website, using about 50g of sugar and a few healthy scoops of honey. You can definitely taste the hint of honey. Unfortunately the pastry stayed quite soft even after a proper, long baking, which isn't so good for individual pies that you want to be able to pick up in your hand. I'm not sure if the result was due to the honey or it's just the usual result of the runny pumpkin filling - perhaps pumpkin pie crusts are always a bit soggy and that doesn't matter when you have a slice on a plate? In any case, I'd experiment with different quantities of honey in the pastry if I tried it again, and I'm not sure if it would be worth trying a slightly different approach such as blind baking first...

Chopping the pumpkin, keeping the seeds aside in case I decide to roast them later.
And I know, no chopping board - bad form.

For the filling, I just pressed on as instructed in the BBC's pumpkin pie recipe, without messing about.

Only for you, oh marvellous pumpkin, would I do all this chopping.
(Note: the wine was an aid, not an ingredient)

The next adjustment came with the baking time. As I was doing lots of small pies, they required less baking time than one big one, but it was still a good 25 minutes.

So much excitement! They actually worked!

Smells so good... (And yes, my lipstick has worn off a little due to sampling the pastry and filling as I cooked...)

Plate of cup pies - although slightly incorrect in Pushing Daisies terms as I used a mince pie tray rather than a muffin one, so they should technically be deeper... but I'm not really complaining.

I found the result really very sweet - maybe I got my measurements slightly wrong, used the wrong kind of pumpkin, or should have made adjustments to the sweet ingredients due to the honey in the crust... Or maybe I'm just not used to treats this sugary. But adding a dollop of cream took the edge off the sweetness, making it almost perfect.

Cup pie?


  1. Both you and these cup pies are too cute for words!!! That dress, oh my goodness, that dress is all kinds of awesome and just as seasonally suited as a garment can come.

    Happy start of November!
    ♥ Jessica

  2. Thank you, dear girl! And the dress is one of my definite favourites, especially for this time of year. Happy start of November to you too! x

  3. Oh I totally didn't carve my pumpkin, so I believe I shall now make a stab at these. You are such a beauty love all your freckles xxx

    1. Thank you, dear girl! You make me blush!

      And you must try the pies! They are so delicious. I almost lost the will to live when I was hacking up all the pumpkin but I got there, and it was well worth it. Unlike a jack-o-lantern, you don't need to be particularly neat with the cutting either! And they didn't seem as overly sweet the next day - I think the problem was that I was overdosing on sugar as I sampled everything along the way...

  4. Oh My, you and your pies look Wonderful, what lucky colleges! I must say I Just love your dress it is perfect and very seasonal too! You make an adorable Chuck!!! xx

    1. Thank you and thank you! You should have been in my office to make up for the people who were put off my the colour, even though I had a little sign saying they were pumpkin pies. But it did just mean that the proper pumpkin pie fans could go back for more!

  5. How wonderful! And clever Cat to suggest honey. Many good things have begun as mistakes or missings (look at Bakewell Pudding/Tart!). You make an excellent Chuck, too! "Sweet" suits all of this blog.

    1. Thank you! And, oh, bakewell pudding! Perhaps I should try and make that next? But I seem to remember having difficulty finding a recipe for it - it all seemed to be about the bakewell tart which is nowhere near as tasty.

  6. You are as cute as a cup pie!! You look so beautiful. They look so YUMMY! I hope they were a hit at work. I wish I worked with you. :-) xx

    1. Thank you, lovely lady! You can come work with me... but I'm sure you wouldn't give up Beyond Retro just for a few pumpkin pies! x

  7. I'll email you the recipe for The Queen's Own Staffordshire Yeomanry Tart (very tasty Bakewell Tart). It comes with a fabulous poem too, that I have to share with any guests when I serve it.