After years of saying I was going to do it, I finally took the plunge last week: I bought a tart pan.
If you remember, I made miniature tarts earlier this year, aided by a cookie cutter and a cupcake tin, and that really pushed me towards making my ultimate purchase.
I’ve been staring at the tart pans in our local kitchen store for months, trying to decide if I really needed one as much as I thought I did.
In the end, I bought two different sizes. Go big or go home, I guess.
So, with my new purchase, it will be no surprise that I made a tart for this week, and not only was it the perfect flavor combination for Thanksgiving, but it was delicious, too.
The recipe I tried comes from the blog “Love & Olive Oil” by Lindsay Landis. You can find the original post at https://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2015/11/bittersweet-chocolate-pumpkin-tart.html. I just changed the spices a little bit for my version.
Bittersweet Chocolate Pumpkin Tart
8 ounces vanilla wafer cookies
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup pureed pumpkin
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 heaping teaspoon ginger
1/4 heaping teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon bourbon or vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
For the crust, add the cookies and pecans into a food processor and process until the mixture is in small crumbs. Add the sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter, and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed.
Pour the crust mixture into a nine-inch tart pan and press with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to evenly coat the bottom and up the sides. Make sure the crust mixture is firmly pressed together.
Put the pan onto a baking sheet and bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until it’s set. Remove the pan the oven and set it aside to cool.
Turn the oven down to 250 degrees.
Heat a saucepan over low heat, and add the milk and cream. Stir regularly to keep it from scorching on the bottom, and once the milk just starts to bubble a little around the edges of the pan, remove it from the heat and stir in the chocolate, continuing to stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg, and stir until it’s well combined.
Add about one-fourth cup of the chocolate mixture into the pumpkin mixture to temper the eggs. Add the rest of the chocolate mixture, stirring well. Finish it out by adding the bourbon or vanilla extract and stirring again.
Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake on the baking sheet for 30 to 35 minutes or until the tart is just barely jiggly in the middle. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
This was intensely rich and not overly sweet. I used a 62 percent cacao chocolate for my version, and I really liked the darker chocolate flavor. The pumpkin is definitely there but not the dominant flavor. I would recommend cutting this in smaller slices. You don’t need a lot of it to feel satisfied.
If you don’t have a tart pan, you could easily substitute in a springform pan or just use a pie pan, too.
I must say, though, I really liked my pretty scalloped edges on my tart. It made me feel like a real baker, despite this being a fairly easy recipe overall.
I’m not sure what kitchen store product will be the next I’ll be pining after, but for now, my friends, family and coworkers better be excited for some new tart experiments.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly recipe column by Lindsey Young, who describes herself as an enthusiastic amateur cook and can be reached through her website at spiceupkitchen.net.