Pumpkin Custard Tarts (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
makes 5 4 inch tarts, or 1 9 inch pie
- 2 c. hazelnuts
- 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
- 1 T. pumpkin pie spice (I slightly altered the 101 Cookbooks one, and listed it below)
- 1 t. salt
- 1 T. cornstarch (or arrowroot)
- 1 can (1 1/2 c.) pumpkin puree
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- half a can of coconut milk (about 6 oz. If doubling the amounts for two pies or 10 tarts, use a whole can (13+ oz.) of coconut milk)
Puree 1 1/2 cups of the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor until they turn into a hazelnut paste, past the 'crumble' stage. I added a teaspoon or so of maple syrup to help it along. Set aside. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup of hazelnuts and set aside to use as garnish.
To make the pumpkin pie filling, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice blend, salt, and cornstarch (or arrowroot). Stir in the pumpkin puree, and vanilla, then stir in the eggs and coconut milk until just combined. Set aside.
Before filling the pie crust, crumble the hazelnut paste on top of the pie dough into the pie plate, quickly and gently press it into a thin layer across the bottom creating a layer of hazelnuts that will sit between the dough and the filling. Fill the pie crust with the filling. Fill the tins fairly full - (it will puff up a little as it bakes, then fall slightly as it cools, ) and bake for 35-40 minutes (up to 50 minutes or so for the pie). For the 4 inch tarts, I used a heaping 1/3 cup of filling in each... and then baked off any remaining pumpkin custard in ramekins. The center of the pie should just barely jiggle when you tap the pans, the edges should be set, and a thin knife inserted at the centers should come out cleanly.
Let the tarts cool fully before digging in. I like to think that it lets everything "marry" nicely. Of course you can eat them how you wish. Serve plain, or with barely sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts, or with ice cream.
- 1 T. cassia (Saigon) cinnamon
- heaping 1/2 t. allspice
- 1/4 t. cloves
- 1 1/2 t. ground ginger
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in--you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.
Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses--about 10 seconds each--until the dough, whisk will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. You may need to add a tiny bit of ice water if the dough doesn't stay together when pinched.
(You can gather the dough up into a ball, and gently knead it out into a disk, then roll on a floured surface like a traditional pie dough. But, it also works to simply pat it out into the tart shell.)