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Pumpkin Tart with Sugared Pastry Leaves

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This tart is made with a classic pumpkin pie filling, complete with evaporated milk, thrown into a tart shell. Granted, we use a deep-dish tart shell so that it holds more filling, which is how Frank likes it. We usually decorate the finished pie with cutouts of maple leaves. But sometimes Frank tops it with a crisp topping. He figures, since we’ve already messed with his beloved pumpkin pie by putting it in a tart shell, he might as well mess with it some more.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturerich, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishtart

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, or 1¾ cup fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (1-inch piece)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 12-ounce can (1½ cups) evaporated milk
  • 1 recipe for Flaky Tart Crust, rolled into a 9-inch deepdish tart pan plus the remaining dough chilled (for the leaves)
  • 1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon cream or milk (egg wash)
  • 1/8 cup or more granulated or raw sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

Position your oven racks so that one is in the center, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk the eggs in a big bowl to break up the yolks. Whisk in the pumpkin, molasses, and fresh ginger.

In a separate, medium-size bowl, whisk the sugars and spices together. Add this to the pumpkin mixture, and whisk some more. Gradually add the evaporated milk, stirring until the filling is smooth and the milk is fully incorporated into the pumpkin.

Pour the pumpkin filling into your deep-dish tart shell, and bake for 35–40 minutes, until the filling is firm to the touch and doesn’t jiggle when you shake the pan. Don’t worry if the top cracks slightly—that happens. You can cover the cracks with the pastry leaves.

Remove the tart from the oven, and place it on a wire rack to cool slightly.

To remove the tart from the pan, rest it on a big can. Make sure the tart is steady and balanced. Slide the outside ring of the pan down off the tart. Move the tart to your work surface and slide the tart off the pan bottom onto a rimless serving dish or a cutting board. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving.

Roll out the remaining dough to ¼ inch thick. Use a leaf-shaped cookie cutter to cut out leaves, and score the veins in the leaves with a small knife.

Brush the leaves with the egg wash, using a pastry brush or a scrunched-up paper towel, then sprinkle them with enough sugar to coat them. Carefully move the leaves to an ungreased sheet pan or baking sheet. Place them in the oven, and bake until the leaves are golden brown and crispy, 8–10 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, and allow the leaves to cool slightly.

Use a metal spatula to lift the cookies off the pan. Not too long before serving the tart, place the leaves on top of the pumpkin filling in whatever pattern you like. Serve at room temperature or chilled. If you have more leaves than you want to use to decorate your tart, they’re delicious with ice cream or nice to serve alongside a slice of a tart.

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