Mini Vanilla Cream Pies are perfect if you are looking for a bit of sweetness but not wanting an entire slice of pie. The individual nature of these cream pies makes them great for kids too. A very easy-to-make, extra flaky pie crust holds a deliciously cold and creamy pastry cream studded with vanilla bean flecks. Each vanilla cream pie is topped with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- 30 mins
- 24 servings
For the crust
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (162 g)
- ½ tsp kosher salt (4 g)
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar (14 g)
- 1 stick salted butter, chilled & cut into 1” cubes (113 g)
- ¼ cup - ⅓ cup ice water (59ml to 96 ml)
For the filling
- 1 cup whole milk (250 ml)
- ½ Rodelle Vanilla Bean (0.5 g)
- 1 ⅔ tbsp cornstarch (14 g)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (55 g)
- ⅛ tsp kosher salt (0.5 g)
- 1 large egg (56 g)
- 2 tbsp salted butter, room temperature (28 g)
For the whipped cream
- ⅔ cup heavy cream (158 ml)
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar (15 g)
- ¼ Rodelle Vanilla Bean (0.25 g)
- Preheat an oven to 375 F. Prepare the crust first as it needs to chill. Start by combining all the crust ingredients except the ice water. Work quickly and use your fingers to break the cubes of butter into large pea-sized pieces. Add the ice water, starting with ¼ cup. Gently mix the crust mixture with a fork, adding more water up to ⅓ cup to the dry parts. Continue to gently mix until the crust comes together. Barely knead the dough, only enough to make it come together. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap it with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, make the pastry cream. Place the whole milk and the seeds of half a vanilla bean scraped in a saucepan. Whisk the remaining pastry cream ingredients except for the salted butter. Heat the milk until it comes to a gentle boil. Slowly add ⅓ of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking quickly. Then pour the tempered mixture back into the remaining milk.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat cooking stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat immediately. Stir in the butter. If there are any lumps in the cream, strain it. Then pour the pastry cream into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream. Set aside at room temperature.
- Roll out the chilled pie dough into a 15” rectangle. Use a 3” circle cutter to punch out 12 circles. Wrap the pie dough and chill again. Place each pie round into the cavity of a mini cupcake pan. Press the dough into the pan. Prick each crust once, then place dry beans or pie weights into the center of each crust—Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans or pie weights and bake crusts for 5-8 more minutes until golden and crispy.
- Remove the crusts from the pan to cool. Roll out any remaining crust and repeat step 4.
- Make the whipped cream by combining all the ingredients. Whip the mixture with a mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Fill the baked crusts with a couple of teaspoons of pastry cream. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small star tip with whipped cream. Pipe a dollop of cream on each pie. Alternatively, you can dollop the whipped cream with a spoon.
- To make the ice water for the crust, fill a measuring cup with ice and cold water. Then strain the ice and measure how much water is needed for the recipe.
- Depending on the humidity of your environment, your pie crust could need more or less water than listed in the recipe. Instead, look for a pie crust dough that is not too wet but has no dry spots.
- Do not pinch the edges of the crusts with a fork when they go into the mini cupcake tin, as this will close the flaky pie crust layers.