These pies are a treat everyone will love and they are served chilled and great making a day or so in advance.
Mini Crust Dough
3 cups all purpose flour (430 grams)
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 egg yolks (or use 1 large egg and 1 to 2 tsp milk)
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (226 grams)room temperature butter
Sift flour(3 cups/430 grams) and salt(1 /8tsp). Set aside.
In the mixer fitted with a petal attachment beat unsalted, room temperature butter (2 sticks, 226 grams) and powdered sugar (1 cup and 1/4 cup) until smooth. In a small dish whisk together egg yolks (3 egg yolks) and vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (2 tsp). Gradually beat egg yolk mixture into the creamed butter. Scrape the bowl few times as needed.
On the low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix until it starts to come together. If the dough is too crumbly, add 1tsp milk. Do not overwork the dough. Invert the dough onto a clean work surface or into a large bowl and gather dough together with your hands into a ball. Then form the dough into a disk, wrap it in the foil and chill for 1 to 2 hours
SHAPE AND BAKE
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place mini pie molds onto a baking sheet. Spray with a no-stick spray, set aside.
Take out the chilled dough, cut it in half. Let if soften for 5 minutes. Roll it out between 2 sheets of parchment.
Cut out as many rounds as you can. Gather scraps and re-roll. Shape the tarts as shown in the picture tutorial/video. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the shells.
Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes until golden around the edges.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing tarts from the molds. Turn the mold upside down and tap it firmly onto your work surface to release the crust.
Let the crusts cool before adding filling.
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon heaping unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup locally produced Oregon chocolate-hazelnut spread
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for garnish
Chopped Oregon hazelnuts, for garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch, cocoa, and a half cup of milk.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining milk (1 1/2 cups), Oregon hazelnut spread, and salt, whisking until the hazelnut spread has melted. Add in the cornstarch mixture, whisking while you pour. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once the mixture comes to a boil, boil for 2 full minutes. The mixture will thicken. While boiling, alternate between whisking and scraping the bottoms and sides with a rubber spatula.
Remove the pudding from the heat and transfer into mini pie crusts. Pro Tip: If you are concerned about lumps, you can pour it through a fine mesh sieve before transferring it to the bowls. Refrigerate for several hours until thickened and chilled completely.
Top mini pies with whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts right before serving.