Oct 8, 2009

pumpkin tart

i've been at it again. baking pumpkin pies and tarts. i can't help myself. it is a compulsion. when i taste that rich custardy pie with the crumbly delicate crust i know everything is right in the world. it can't be helped.

since it is not actually thanksgiving, no need to wait for that old excuse, i had time to make a homemade crust rather than buying a frozen one from whole foods. it turned out great. really well. i read about 10 recipes for pie crust and then condensed them into a new variation which worked perfectly for pumpkin pie. since it is a wet custard type pie, the crust can undercook. to offset this i added a bit of cream, which adds to the general flakiness of a crust as it is more fat. i also warmed the pie crust in the oven slightly before adding the pumpkin mixture. when i make plum tarts or summer fruit tarts i add an egg yolk to the crust when i am adding the ice water which makes the crust slightly more cookie like and therefore hold up to the considerable juice from the fresh fruit.

pie crust 
for two 9 inch pie pans

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or oat flour or a mix of the two 
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into slices
3  TBSP ice water (add one at a time, may need or less depending on humidity/age of flour)
2 TBSP heavy cream

mix flours with salt and sugar. place in food processor. add cold butter slices. pulse until combined and looking like coarse meal. add 1 TBSP ice water and 1 TBSP cream. pulse until just mixed. add another TBSP of ice water and cream. pulse. dough should be starting to come together now. add 1 more TBSP ice water if needed. 

form two discs with the dough. allow to rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes. roll out and place into pie or tart pans. if making a pumpkin pie, it will work best if you warm the dough in the pan in a 350 F oven. for 4 to 5 minutes before adding the pumpkin filling mixture.

filling recipe reprinted below

2 15oz cans pumpkin**
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP minced crystallized ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs, whisked
whisk the pumpkin, cream, milk, sugars, salt and spices together thoroughly. correct flavor if necessary (sweeter, ginger, etc) add in whisked eggs. pour into prepared pie crusts in pans. bake in a preheated oven set at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes for a tart and 45 to 55 minutes for a deep dish pie until done, should jiggle just a bit in the center. when you make it in a tart pan as pictured above, it is done in 30 to 35. allow pie to cool for 30 minutes before devouring (in my case, maybe you just eat pie in a restrained and civilized fashion, i do try).

p.s. this time i made it with 2 cups milk and 1 cup cream, for a lighter version, still works well and is lighter. not quite the sinfully-rich version, but completely delicious all the same.

** i use organic canned pumpkin, i have tried making the squash myself, but found the experience laborious and the pie kind of watery and flavorless, not dense and rich. yes, i did use the smaller pie pumpkins they sell around here. altogether disappointing. i don't think i will try it again any time soon. 


  1. Looks delicious! I like this time of year with its abundance of pumpkin-y things :) I also make swap out some of the cream to make it lighter, and usually no one can tell except me.

    PS. I've been following your blog, I love the your recipes!

  2. oh my... i have never tried a pumpkin tart, but this looks and sounds just perfect:) now it would be even a pumpkin time..hmm..