Halloween Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin pies – put your pumpkin carving skills to good use with these tasty, creepy (or cute – your choice!) pumpkin pies for Halloween.
It is very nearly Halloween so I should probably get a move on and share the couple of Halloween recipes that I have left before it is too late! these Halloween Jack-O-lantern pumpkin pies take a little bit of time and effort to make but they look really effective and would make a great addition to a Halloween party spread.
They consist of individual servings of tasty pumpkin pie topped with a hand-carved pastry Jack-O-Lantern face. They aren’t difficult to make but you do need to break out your best pumpkin carving skills to cut out the faces. If you are struggling for design inspiration then you just need to Google ‘Jack-O-Lantern faces’ and there are loads of different ideas. I mostly went for creepy/evil ones but you could do happy/friendly ones if you prefer.
You will need eight 10cm/4 inch wide tart tins for the pies and a 9.5cm/3 + ¾ inch (or slightly smaller is fine) pumpkin shaped cookie cutter. If you don’t have a pumpkin shaped cutter you can just use a round one instead; your Jack-O-Lantern faces will still look great!
If you wanted to make these for any day other than Halloween (Thanksgiving maybe if you live over the pond), then you could do any other shaped cut outs to top them with – a selection of leaves would look pretty.
I originally made these Halloween Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin pies for DIYs, check them out for some awesome craft and recipe ideas.
Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin pies
- 480 g (4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 60 g (1/2 cup) icing (powdered) sugar
- 280 g (2 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter cubed
- 2 large egg yolks (reserve one of the whites for glazing)
- 1-2 Tbsp ice water
- 1 Tbsp double (heavy) cream for brushing
- 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 100 g (1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp) light or dark brown soft sugar (I used dark)
- 3 large eggs
- one 425 g (15oz) can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 Tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- 240 ml (1 cup) double (heavy) cream
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) milk
Place the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and stir well. Add the cubed butter and rub it in with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and no large lumps of butter remain. Add the egg yolks and mix in well then gradually add enough ice cold water to bring to pastry together into a ball.
Divide the pastry into two pieces, one a little more than two-thirds and one a little less. Shape each into a disc and wrap in clingfilm, refrigerate for half an hour.
Remove the larger piece of pastry from the fridge and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Shape each one into a ball and roll out to about 3mm/1/8 inch thick and wide enough to line a 10cm/4 inch tart tin. Press the pastry into the tin and leave the excess overhanging. Repeat with the remaining balls of pastry. Place the tart shells in the freezer for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Line each tart with a double layer of good quality clingfilm or a piece of baking parchment and fill with either ceramic baking beans or dry rice, fold the clingfilm over the top. I prefer to use rice as baking beans can leave imprints in the pastry.
Bake the tarts for 15 minutes then remove the baking beans/rice and clingfilm/parchment and return the tarts to the oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the tarts from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes then use a sharp serrated knife to carefully trim off the excess pastry.
To make the filling, whisk together the sugars, eggs and pumpkin puree until smooth then whisk in the cornflour salt, spices, cream and milk. Carefully pour the filling into the tart shells; depending on the depth of your tart tins you may have a little filling left over.
Bake the tarts for 25-30 minutes until they are set but still have a slight wobble in the centre. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
While the pies are cooling make the Jack-O-Lanterns. Roll out the remaining disc of pastry to 3mm/1/8 inch thick and use an approx 9.5cm/3 + 3/4 inch pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to cut as many pumpkin shapes as you can. Re-roll the trimmings to cut out more shapes; you will need 8 for the pies but it is a good idea to have a couple extra, in case some of your pumpkin faces go wrong. If you don't have a pumpkin shaped cutter then you can use a round one instead.
Place the pumpkins on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes. Work with one pumpkin at a time, leave the rest in the freezer (they thaw quickly and are easiest to carve when frozen). Now it's time to use your best pumpkin carving skills! Use a sharp paring knife to carefully cut out Jack-O-Lantern faces; if you are struggling for inspiration then there are lots of ideas on Google!
Return the pumpkins to the freezer for 15 minutes. Whisk together the egg white reserved from making the pastry and the Tbsp of cream. Brush the pumpkins with the egg mixture then bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To serve, carefully turn the pies out of the tins and top each one with a Jack-O-Lantern. Keep refrigerated and eat within three days.