Pumpkin Pie Tarts – to share or eat all by yourself
It’s still pumpkin season, so let’s make pumpkin pie tarts. Just as good as a big pumpkin pie, but a little more pastry to filling ratio! These sweet little tarts are a big dessert for one person (or maybe not!) or nice to share with a special someone after a big dinner.
Easy to handle pastry
The pastry for these tarts is really nice in that it has some yogourt in it which gives a extra richness as well as helping the pastry get nice and crisp. This is a no-roll pastry that you portion out and press into the tart shells, so also a bonus if you don’t enjoy the whole rolling business. I know it’s one of the least favourite things to do for me in the pastry kitchen.
I do prefer to use a food processor to make this pastry (actually, to make any pastry), but you can certainly do by hand. It’s a wet-ish dough that will need just a short chill in the fridge while you mix up the filling. As with all butter-based pastry, make sure you cube your butter and keep it cold.
The filling for these tarts is quite rich. It’s a pumpkin custard of course, like most pumpkin pies, but I add some whipping cream which keeps it quite light in texture. I’m not fond of a dense pumpkin pie filling (which can lend itself to a sliminess at times). There is also sweetened condensed milk instead of the traditional evaporated milk.
I often like to make my own pumpkin ‘goop’ but for this recipe I used a canned pumpkin. One of the important things to keep in mind is how wet canned pumpkin is. I spread it out on a baking sheet on a layer of paper towel and cover it with more paper towel and a cloth teatowel. I change this several times as it soaks up the extra water in the pumpkin. Removing the excess moisture from the pumpkin makes such a difference to the texture of the final pumpkin pie filling.
Individual Pumpkin Pie as tarts
I use four inch tart tins with removable bottoms, although you could easily make this into a larger pumpkin pie to slice. Portion out the pastry into each of the tart tins and push it in with your fingers. I also use a pastry tamper dipped in flour to even things out. This is much easier than rolling and cutting and does not take that much time to do.
These bake in about 25 minutes, the pastry does not need pre-baking/blind baking as they are quite small and are a fairly thin base. Make sure to let them cool before removing the tart tin and serving.
If pumpkin pie is not your dessert of choice, consider a nice lemony mousse tart instead.
- 380g (2 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 230g (1 cup) butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- 120ml (1/2 cup) plain yogurt
Pumpkin Pie filling
- 375ml (1 1/2 cups) pumpkin 'goop'*
- 1 can - 300ml/10 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 125ml (1/2 cup) heavy/whipping cream
Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A couple of notes to read first:
- This can be made as one eight inch pie - cut the pastry measurements in half if you're going to to do that.
- This pastry (because of the yogourt) is best pressed into the tart shells, not rolled out. This is a bonus if you don't like rolling pastry.
- Make sure you are using sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk, totally different stuff.
- The pumpkin pie spice can be made ahead and stored for quite some time. It's very useful and I use it in most of my pumpkin-y recipes.
- The reference to pumpkin 'goop' here is canned pumpkin filling that I dry out a bit, please see the notes in the accompanying blog post.
Best to use a food processor if you have one - this dough is wet-ish but makes a lovely crisp end product.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add the cubed butter. Pulse until is it crumb-like.
- Add the yogurt and pulse again just until incorporated.
- Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and carefully bring together into a cohesive ball. The dough will seem crumbly and damp, but be patient, this works.
- Chill for 20 minutes while you make the filling.
- Set the oven to 350°F/180°C
- Whisk together all the ingredients and set aside while the oven heats and you prepare the tart shells.
- For each 4" tart shells, portion out approximately 88g (3 ounces) of dough. Using your fingers (and a pastry tamper if you like) press the dough into the shell. Make it as even as you can.
- Distribute the filling into each of the eight tart shells and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes.
- Let cool before removing the tart shell rims and bottoms.
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