Pumpkin pie breakfast tarts

Okay, these were meant to be like pop tarts, only with pumpkin pie filling. They turned out to be so much more flaky and tender and decadent than that that I’m not entirely sure what to call them! Other than, ahem, gone.

Moving on.

The long and the short of it: to make these I made pie crust from Ruhlman’s Ratio app on my iPhone, and a pretty standard pumpkin pie filling from Libby’s. I cut the pie crust into rectangles, put some cooked pumpkin pie filling on one, then a little egg wash around the edges, then put another rectangle on top and crimped the edges closed with a fork. A little more egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar on top, then baked at 400 for about 10 minutes.

To make these super fast you can absolutely use refrigerated, pre-made pie crust. Heck, you can buy an already-made pumpkin pie (hello, Publix bakery?) and scoop out the filling — see how fast this just got? Life is short; do what it takes. Here’s the longer way around, for those who are game:

Pumpkin pie breakfast tarts


For the pumpkin pie filling:
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
    • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated (not condensed) milk
For the pie crust:
    • 340 grams (2.4 cups) of flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 Tbsp. sugar
    • 227 grams (1 cup) of butter
    • 113 grams (1/2 cup) cold water
For an egg wash:
  • One beaten egg + a little bit of water


Make the pie filling:
    1. Mix together sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves
    2. In a larger bowl beat eggs, then stir in pumpkin and sugar & spice mix, then slowly stir in milk
    3. Bake in a buttered glass dish at 325 F for about one hour, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Since this is technically a custard, I set my glass dish in a larger dish, then filled the larger dish with enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the smaller dish (a water bath — aren’t we fancy?)
    4. Leave in the water bath to cool, then move to the fridge after an hour or so
Make the pie crust:
  1. Using a food processor, a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour, salt and sugar till the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal, then pulse or cut in water till flour is just moistened (it will not look like pie crust yet)
  2. Shape into a disc, wrap in saran wrap and stash it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, but up to a day
  3. Retrieve your pumpkin pie filling and make little pies! Go crazy. Use cookie cutter shapes, make rectangles, use biscuit cutters and make half moons — whatever entertains you. For each roughly pop-tart-sized rectangle I made I put in about 2 Tbsp. of chilled filling, but you can kind of eyeball it. The good news is that it’s not runny so it’s not going to go everywhere. Use a little egg wash around the edges before you seal them closed, then put a little more egg wash on the top and sprinkle sugar over it just to be pretty. Poke a couple holes in the top for steam to escape
  4. Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheets at 400F for about 10 minutes, but just keep an eye on them — you want lightly browned

Enjoy with coffee and remind yourself that this is a breakfast pastry containing pumpkin, which is a vegetable; you’re totally not eating pie for breakfast


Cranberry orange muffins

This is based on a muffin recipe by Mark Bittman; I tweaked it to use some orange juice and — shocker — some Crasins. These are so good for breakfast, brunch, or even a snack! The Mickey Mouse muffin pan is not required, but certainly adds some cuteness. It does not, however, convince the Kiddo to eat any; your mileage may vary. Recipe made one dozen Mickey muffins.

Cranberry orange muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus a little more if needed
  • 1 cup Crasins, fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries (no need to defrost first)


  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Mix dry ingredients together, then either mix egg through milk separately or in a well in the middle of the dry ingredients (my preferred method). Add in berries and gently fold everything together till it’s just barely incorporated; lumps are your friends
  3. Bake in a well greased or paper lined muffin pan for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. Cool in a metal or glass pan pan for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack, longer for a silicone pan (wait for silicone to be cool to the touch for best results)

Pork chop rice bake

This was inspired by Vintage Victuals’ Cheddar-Bacon-Ranch Chicken & Rice Bake. The flavors are so great, and this adaptation works perfectly with pork chops too. The original recipe calls for a can condensed cream soup which I didn’t have, so I made a substitute; you can do either depending on your tastes and time, obviously. I also cut the portions in half since it was just for the Yankee and me, but it can be easily doubled.

Pork chop rice bake


For the casserole:
    • 2 pork chops
    • 3/4 cup uncooked rice
    • 1 can cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, or one recipe cream soup substitute (see below)
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 milk
    • 1 packet ranch seasoning mix
    • Salt and pepper — about 1/2 tsp each
    • 1 diced red pepper, optional
    • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
For the condensed soup substitute (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings or butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


First method:
    1. Preheat oven to 350F and mix together rice, soup, water, milk, ranch seasoning, salt and pepper and red pepper. Pour into an 8″ or 9″ casserole dish and lay pork chops on top. Salt and pepper pork chops, then cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for 45 minutes; remove foil and stir rice mixture, then top dish with mozzarella cheese; cover again and return to oven for another 15-20 minutes or until internal temp of pork measures 165F
Second method:
    1. Preheat oven to 350F and mix together rice, soup, water, milk, ranch seasoning, salt and pepper and red pepper. Pour into an 8″ or 9″ casserole dish cover dish tightly with foil before placing in oven. Bake for 45 minutes; when 15 minutes remain on the timer salt and pepper the pork chops and start browning them over medium heat in a heavy skillet. Cook for 4-6 minutes per side till you get some nice color. When the timer beeps for your rice, remove casserole from the oven and stir mixture, then lay pork chops on top. Sprinkle over mozzarella cheese; cover again and return to oven for another 15-20 minutes or until internal temp of pork measures 165F
To make the condensed soup substitute (if not using canned soup)
  1. Melt bacon drippings or butter in a saucepan or skillet till foam subsides; add in flour and whisk, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Still whisking, add in chicken broth and milk and cook till thickened; add salt and pepper


You have a couple choices when it comes to actually cooking this; either bake it all together, or pan fry the pork chops to brown them up a bit, then add them to the rice mixture for the last 15 minutes.