Nov 16, 2011

back by popular demand: pumpkin tarts with ginger

i have been thinking a lot about these this week. pumpkin tarts are my most favoritist thing about autumn and thanksgiving. give me a plate of stuffing and a pumpkin tart and i am completely happy. here's a reprint of my favorite recipe, developed over the years, while pursuing my great love for pumpkin and related squash dishes of all kinds. i love the custardy texture and the combination of pumpkin and crystallized ginger.

pie crust
for two 9 inch pie tins or 8 small tartlet tins
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 pie or tart pans in a 375 F oven for 5 to 7 minutes before adding the pumpkin filling mixture, as the pumpkin mixture is very wet and can make the crust a bit soggy.

2 15oz cans organic 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
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
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 (prebaked for 5 to 7 minutes). 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 large tart pan it will be done in 30 to 35 minutes. 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). tiny tart pans cook much quicker in 25 to 30 minutes.
* if the crystallized ginger is very moist it may gum up as you try to mince it, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of flour on the crystallized ginger as you chop if it gives you any trouble.
** 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.

Nov 3, 2011

still here

well. that qualifies as a crazy weekend. what a storm. and snow. in october! so unexpected. but importantly, now we've got our power back on. the leaves are still on the trees. all is good. onward.