Spiced Pumpkin Mini Tarts

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Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (15 oz.) refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 can (15 oz.) solid pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz) cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling
  • Powdered sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Zest from one small orange

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. Allow pie crusts to thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes. Roll pie crust into 12 inch circle. Using a 3 ½ ?scalloped? cutter, cut out 12 pastry pieces (9 from outer edge and 3 from center of circle). Press 1 into each cup of a mini-muffin pan. Prick bottom of pastry. Bake 14-18 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove tart shells from pan to cooling rack; cool completely. Repeat with remaining crust to make 24 tart shells. Combine pumpkin, whipped topping, and spice in bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add pudding mix; whisk until smooth and thickened. Refrigerate until ready to use. Lightly sprinkle tart shells with powdered sugar from shaker. Pipe pumpkin mixture into shells with the star tip of a decorating device. Sprinkle pecans over tarts and top with orange zest.
* You may make your own spice blend using cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger (optional: ground orange peel and cloves).

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