Nothing says Autumn has arrived more than the aroma of something with pumpkin baking in the oven. When I found a recipe in my Milk Street cookbook that combined pumpkin with bourbon, I had to try it. Those who know me in real life know that I love to cook with bourbon, and sometimes I put it in the food (LOL, I know, old joke!!). There is an alternative for those who don’t do alcohol. Today, with permission, I will share this great recipe for a lighter Pumpkin Tart from Milk Street. This is a wonderful alternative to the heavy pumpkin pies usually served during the holidays, and without the usual spices, just a deep and fresh pumpkin flavor.
I began as I usually do by preparing a mis-en-place, measuring all the ingredients. There are only six ingredients to the filling, so pretty easy.
It is made in a tart pan, a low sided baking pan with a removable bottom.
I cheated and used a premade crust. Prick the crust well.
I don’t have pie weights, so I used a large pie baking dish to weigh the crust down for pre-baking. I painted this one myself at one of those ceramics stores some years ago.
After pre-baking, the crust has light color on the edges.
Next, the pumpkin and dark brown sugar are cooked together in a pan on top of the stove.
Stir constantly, the brown sugar will melt and incorporate into the pumpkin. Even though there is a fair amount of sugar, this tart doesn’t come out sweet.
As it cooks, the moisture will evaporate from the pumpkin, concentrating the flavor.
Deglaze the pan with the bourbon. It is a small amount, and the alcohol will burn off, leaving a smoky flavor that adds a nice complexity to the tart. If you just do not want to use bourbon, the recipe author says that orange juice can work too. You could use the juice from the orange that you need to zest for the topping.
Next, the recipe calls for using a food processor to combine the pumpkin, bourbon, eggs, salt, and creme fraiche. I don’t have one, so I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Don’t use a hand mixer, you don’t want to put air in the mixture by whipping it. You could mix it by hand or use a blender if you have to.
Pour into the crust.
After baking, the tart is slightly puffed.
A close view of the tart shows it is smooth and creamy, not heavy.
Add the Honey Orange whipped cream and you have a wonderful holiday dessert.
Milk Street’s Pumpkin Tart
1 recipe single-crust pie dough
15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup bourbon (or substitute orange juice)
8-ounce container (1 cup) crème fraîche
3 large eggs
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Heat the oven to 375F with racks in the middle and lowest positions.
On a well-floured counter, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Wrap the dough loosely around the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Ease the dough into the the pan, then trim the edges flush with the rim. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Line the chilled shell with foil and fill with pie weights, then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack until the edges are light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove the foil and weights, then bake until the bottom just begins to color, another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce to 325F.
While the crust bakes, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, combine the pumpkin and 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 (the yield should be 1½ cups). Add the bourbon 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 fraiche; process 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 center sets, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Remove the outer metal ring to serve warm or at room temperature.
Honey-Orange Whipped Cream
Don’t use creamed, thick or crystallized honey for this recipe. In order for the cream and honey to properly mix, a thin, pourable honey is needed. Start to finish: 5 minutes Makes about 3 cups
1½ cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon grated orange zest
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low until frothy, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to make sure the honey is incorporated. Mix on medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
I took the tart to a Mini Cooper car club event this past weekend, and it was half gone before I could get a photo! I brought home one slice, that My Sweet Babboo took care of that evening. Everyone said it was fantastic!
This scrumptious recipe can be found in the complete TV show cookbook from the Milk Street.
For new readers, here are a few of my original pumpkin recipes. First up, my Pumpkin Orange Bread from Autumn Jubilee 2016.
Just leave a comment on this post, do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe? Then click on the Rafflecopter pic to enter the drawing.
Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe?