Whether you're a picky eater, into portion-control, or simply doing Thanksgiving this year Han-style (as in, solo), mini-pies are a fitting end to a meal typically characterized by indiscriminate gorging. Luckily, plenty of L.A. bakeries and coffeeshops are more than willing to help you not stuff your pie hole, by offering tarts that are only half the size of your regular eight-inchers, or even smaller (most of these fall somewhere around three to five). After the turkey and green beans, there's barely enough room in your belly as it is, so you can afford to be a little choosy.
Here's a short list of the sweetest minis we've seen around town.
Pumpkin Streusel, Chipotle Pumpkin, Salted Caramel, Blueberry, and Pecan Pie at simplethings: Co-founders Ryan Handel and Andy Paxson churn out roughly 250 "cutie" pies per day, from the chewy, toothsome pecan to the subtly spicy chipotle pumpkin, available exclusively for fall. The cut-off for pumpkin, pecan, and mud pie orders is today, and pies are available in quantities of 18 for a 10% discount. More information.
Apple, Pear-Ginger, and Kabocha at Short Cake: This rustic apple pie is definitely the prettiest of the bunch, but it's also the most cloying, while the kabocha pales in comparison to its sweeter, American gourd counterpart. For a subtler stab at Thanksgiving, pick up a tin of SC's crumble-topped pear, which is actually large enough to feed two. Ginger baked into the crust adds a surprising, piquant bite. More information.
Pumpkin at The Village Bakery: A crisp, flaky maple leaf rests atop a solid pumpkin contender from Atwater's Village Bakery, though you'll probably have a better time with their cookie butter-crusted, full-size pumpkin cheesecake. Thanksgiving orders available until noon Thanksgiving Day. More information.
Sweet Potato and Pecan at The Gourmet Cobbler Factory: Sweet potato is probably what most people imagine pumpkin should taste like — simple, a little sweet, a little nutty, not entirely overpowered by more fragrant nutmegs and cinnamons and cloves. The Gourmet Cobbler Factory's delicate pie crusts borrow residual moisture from their custardy fillings, melding the two into a cohesive whole, instead of forcing you to go back and dig around for pastry. When eaten fresh, the whole nuts in the pecan pie provide a satisfying crunch. More information.
Honorable mention: I Heart Pies: At the time of this post's writing, Thanksgiving pre-orders from online delivery service I Heart Pies had already been filled. But for back-pocket Christmas planning, their six-pie mini combo makes an especially good potluck investment. More information.