Deliciously Light And Airy Pumpkin Tart
This was the most different take on pumpkin pie that I ever tasted and I have to say I prefer it to the rest. I love the tart crust with the light and airy filling that has a really nice richness without being overly heavy.
The recipe is from Christopher Kimball’s book Milk Street that we did for #rainydaybitescookbookclub. It was the only recipe challenge I could join in on (due to lack of time) for that month and I’m so glad i did. It was a yummy one. I used my tart recipe because it’s super simple and minimal in ingredients. His sounded very interesting. He uses a frozen cornstarch paste in the crust mixture which is suppose to trap moisture and prevent if from acting with the gluten in the flour to help get a more tender crust. You will have to check out his recipe from the book or on line to get that recipe. I thought the pâté sablée worked perfectly. A tender and flaky crust.
The process of browning the pumpkin and the sugar together reminded me of browning meat in Trini style stew chicken. It yields a really nice caramel colour and a deeper flavour. Mine turned out a little lighter than the rest that participated probably because I used homemade pumpkin purée and our pumpkin here is a bit of a different variety. Anyways, regardless of how deep the colour is or gets, I found mine lightened a few shades after adding the sour cream into the mix (the sour cream that I used as a substitute for creme fraiche which I couldn’t get my hands on and had no time experiment making homemade). I also used a medium brown sugar and not a dark one which could have added to the lighter filling.
The flavour was still the same and this will be on repeat for sure. Could not get enough of that creamy light pumpkin filling with that crisp tart crust. Not too sweet and just great textures happening. Hope you give it a try and I would love to know how yours turned out!
for the crust - pâté sablée
- 9 inch circular pan tart or 14 X 4.5 inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottoms -or I also use a springform pan lined with parchment paper if you don’t have a tart pan
- 1 stick of butter room temperature
- 1⁄3 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
- ½ tsp salt
- 1¼ cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp milk – to add to the dough if needed
* For GF replace AP flour with 1 cup of GF flour blend plus ¼-½ cup of almond meal or ground almonds walnuts or hazelnuts
for the filling
- 15-ounce can or just under 2 cups of pumpkin puree (homemade recipe below)
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup bourbon or orange juice
- 8-ounce container (1 cup) crème fraîche – I used sour cream as a substitute
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
for the crust
- In a large bowl beat the sugar and butter until well combined and then add the yolk and continue to mix until well incorporated
- Add the flour and salt just enough for all the flour to be incorporated. No need to over-mix
- Scrape the dough out of bowl onto a piece of plastic wrap and gather the dough and form it into a circular disc or a rectangular one depending on which pan you are using. Wrap it tight and refrigerate for at least one hour up to 2 days. Can also be frozen for up to a month. If using from frozen, allow to thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
- Remove the dough from fridge and let it rest for a few minutes to make it easier to roll.
- Remove the dough from the plastic and place it between to sheets of parchment or wax paper to roll it with ease. Roll it out evenly to the size of the tart pan – use the removable bottom as a guide
- Once rolled out peel the top layer of paper off and invert the dough into the pan. Peel away the last layer of paper and fit the dough into the pan pressing it into the shape of the pan all around. Trim any edges off and reshape dough by pressing it if needed if there is a tear or a thin part.
- Wrap the pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes and in the meantime preheat the oven to 375 ° F
- Place the tart on a baking sheet. Line the top of the tart with parchment and fill with pie weights (or dry beans like I used) and blind bake for approx 20-30 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden then remove and place on a cooling rack and allow to cool while you make your filling (tart has not finished baking – will finish baking with the filling)
for the filling
- While the tart crust bakes, in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, combine the pumpkin and brown sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened, dark and leaves a film on the pan, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup and the total mixture should be 1½ cups.
- Once the tart bakes remove and set aside on a cooling rack and reduce oven temperature to 325 ° F
- Add the bourbon or orange juice to the skillet, return to medium-high heat and stir, scraping up any browned bits; add to the pumpkin mixture.
- In a food processor, combine the pumpkin mixture and crème fraîche or sour cream and process a few pulses until smooth. Scrape down the bowl, add the eggs and salt, then process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the filling into the warm crust, smoothing the top. Bake on the baking sheet on the middle rack until the edges start to puff and crack and the centre sets, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Homemade Pumpkin Purée
1 whole pumpkin 4-6 lbs or cut pumpkin pieces
Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 400 ° F
- Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper
- Slice pumpkin open and scoop out the seeds and fibers (reserve seeds for roasting or something else at another time) and cut up into 1-½ inch square pieces removing the skin
- Arrange the pieces on baking sheet or sheets and sprinkle with salt and then roast them for 20-40 minutes until fork or knife can easily be inserted
- Let sheet cool on cooling rack until you pumpkin can be handled and then transfer it all to a food processor and process until the flesh is smooth. Store in the fridge for up to one week and freeze for up to 3 months.
* You can also cut the whole pumpkin in half and roast pieces whole but this takes longer to roast and more work to scrape off the flesh from the skin after. I do both and result is the same it just depends on how much time I have on hand and how lazy I am to chop and peel the pumpkin.
* you can also boil the pumpkin in water until softened and water evaporates but I prefer roasting it because it develops a unique sweetness and a nuttiness as well