For as long as I can remember, my Mom has made ‘Paradise Pumpkin Pie’ for Thanksgiving. And it never disappoints.

Except the year she put cranberries in it. That one threw me for a loop.

I’m not even sure where the original recipe came from. I just remember a hand written index card that was stained with random spillage of pumpkin, and probably a nip of bourbon or two. (My sister and I were quite a handful.) Thankfully she let me copy it a few years ago so I could share the pumpkin love with my family and spill a nip or two of bourbon on my own index card. (My kids are also quite a handful.)

These mini treats are my adapted version of her layer of cheesecake topped with a layer of spiced pumpkin… with the added layer of crunchy pecan streusel.

Three Layer Mini Pumpkin Pies
makes 24 tartelette size pies
Cheesecake Layer:
1 box unbaked Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (or other brand. or homemade.)
4 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/8 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg (beaten)

Pumpkin Layer:
7.5 oz canned pumpkin (half a can)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg (beaten)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a 3″ round cookie cutter or highball glass, cut 24 rounds from the pie crust dough and line the individual tart cups and set aside.

Combine the cream cheese, 1/8 cup sugar, vanilla and one egg in a medium mixing bowl and beat on medium high speed until smooth and free of lumps. Drop around 1 tbsp of the cream cheese mixture into each of the pie crusts and spread to smooth.

To make the pumpkin layer, combine all of the pumpkin layer ingredients and mix on medium speed until combined. Drop around 1 tbsp gently on top of the cream cheese layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes while you prepare the pecan streusel topping.

To prepare the streusel, combine all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix to crumble consistency with your fingers. After the pies have baked for 20 minutes, remove and sprinkle a small amount of streusel on top then return to the oven for another 5 – 10 minutes to brown.

These are the perfect bite-sized treat to follow a ginormous Thanksgiving dinner. But who says you have to eat just one? Squirt a little whipped cream on top and eat a few. Then go take a nap.

We actually happened to be heading to our Foodie Friends’ house for dinner the night I made these, so I doubled the recipe and made another small pie to bring along.*

Another small pie that somebody decided was too tempting to resist…But, I can’t really blame him. Look at it…

And who am I to deny temptation?

I told you he was quite a handful. 🙂


*to make a single 9″ pie rather than mini tartelettes, double all ingredients except the pie crust and the egg in the cheesecake layer and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, top with streusel layer and return to the oven for another 10 – 15 minutes to finish baking.