Sunday, October 4, 2009

once upon a time there was... Pumpkin Tartlets

When Cornelius and I heard about the nationwide pumpkin shortage, we panicked. Would this be a fall season without Cornelius' Favorite Pumpkin Pie? Or Pumpkin Cheesecake? It was almost too much to take. Luckily when we arrived at Wegmans we discovered that they were out of Libby's brand but had plenty of Wegmans brand pumpkin. We loaded our cart, so never fear Castle Farm Cookbook blog readers, there will be plenty of pumpkin recipes to go around. And now that we were no longer facing a pumpkin shortage, we decided to try a new recipe instead of one of the usuals. We have been meaning to use our mini tartlet pans that we just had to have (but 2 years later still hadnt used) so we found a recipe for Jack o' Lantern tarts at Martha Stewarts site. So here it goes...

- you will need 12 3-4 inch mini tart tins or 6 mini tins and one 9-10 inch tart pan
3.75 c flour
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp sugar
3 sticks butter, chilled, cubed
.5-1 cup cold water

pumpkin filling
15 oz can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 c honey
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 c heavy cream
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt

1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp heavy cream

1. make the crust dough. combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and process until the mixture is coarse - about 10 seconds. With machine running, add water slowly until dough just holds together without being wet or sticky - no more than 30 seconds. it will still be a little crumbly.

2. chill dough. divide dough into 3 equal balls. flatten into a disc and wrap each in plastic. chill at least an hour.

3. prepare crusts. on a floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. cut out 6 6-inch circles. (Cal's tip: if you dont have 6-inch cookie cutters, be creative and look around your kitchen. we used the lid to our flour canister.) Repeat with second disc to do anther 6 tartlets or one big tart.

4. fit circles to tart pans, trimming and shaping overhanging edges. Put all the prepared tins on a cookie sheet and chill for 30 min.

5. roll out third disc and cut out 12 3-inch circles (or 6 3-inch circles and a bigger one for the big tart). place circles on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill 30 min.
6. preheat oven to 375.
7. prepare the pumpkin filling. whisk together pumpkin, eggs, honey, sugar, 1 c. cream, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.

8. prepare for the baking! in a small bowl, beat egg yolk and 2 Tbsp cream. Brush chilled tart tins with glaze. Divide pumpkin filling among the tarts.
9. bake about 30 min or until crust is golden and filling is set. (if you are cooking a large tart it may take an additional 10 min). cool on wire rack.
10. Remove pastry circles from refrigerator. Using a paring knife, carve jack o lantern faces or whatever design you would like into the circles. Brush with egg glaze. Bake until golden, about 12 min.
11. When tarts and tops are cooled, place a top on each tart. Chill before eating.

Cal's tip: the 3", 6", and 10" measurements are approximate. Make sure to measure your actual bakeware or else your pies will come out silly like ours.

Here we are with our finished product!

Here in the Castle-Farm Cookbook, we are not going to lie to you - these pumpkin tarts taste pretty much the same as pumpkin pie. Now, we really like pumpkin pie, but we have some recipes for the pumpkin filling that we like even better. So if you are looking to make something cute, or are trying to use your mini tart pans for the first time, this is the recipe for you. If you are going for maximum pumpkin deliciousness - stay tuned for our thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Until next time,

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