Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown...Day 4 Chocolate Pumpkin Tarts

Mommy and Me and Learning to Make Tarts....

Pumpkin and Chocolate Tarts!

On my moms list of what to bake for Thanksgiving is her Apple Tart and her PB&J Linzer Tarts.  She finds tarts so much easier and faster to make then pies and everyone loves them.

Well today, being the weekend and the fact that I have not made anything Pumpkin yet for Thanksgiving (check out my pumpkin cookies and cupcake recipes), I decided to adapt another recipe from Martha Stewart, a Pumpkin and Chocolate Tart  and since mom was home she would help me in case it all went wrong and perhaps I can even get her to take the photos. 

You see, I never made a Tart or a Pie from scratch before, the dough thing intimidates me.

I have made mini apple pies from a recent post out of Pillsbury Dough that's already made, and made them again recently with a cinnamon sugar and maple glaze, but that was easy...

 Getting started:  The Crust:

We have a set of 4 1/2 inch round tart pans with bottoms that come out, so instead of making one large round one, we are going to make 5 mini tarts.

Trace the bottoms of the tart pans onto parchment paper and then cut out the circles.

Place the bottoms back into the pans, lightly spray with Pam and then place the circles of parchment into the pans.

You can give the parchment paper a little spray of pam now too if you want but its not necessary. (as you can see, we prepared 6 pans but only had enough dough for 5).

Preheat oven to 350, place tart pans on cookie sheet. 

In a mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt & 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.  (the original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves, but we didn't have cloves so we improvised)

Add 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (mom says, from what she learned on the sets of the TV shows, make sure to cut the butter and put back in fridge until ready to use...this way the butter will be nice and cold which is better for a flaky crust)

Add butter; mix on low speed until butter is the size of small peas.  Be careful not to over mix.

Add 1 large egg. Mix until ingredients come together to form a dough.

I laid out wax paper, and floured the surface...

and a rolling pin.
tried to roll it out
used the rim of the tart pan like a cookie cutter
and then called for mom!


Mom re-rolled up the dough, put it in the fridge for half hour and then put away the rolling pin...she said its not necessary to roll out this dough...its way to soft for that.

 take the piece of the dough and just press it into and up the sides of the pan...tapping and pinching the dough not pulling the dough to make it greasy...that's it.  No rolling, no fuss and no more disaster!

See, it looks fine.   Lightly prick bottom with fork...I didn't and tt was fine, but the bottoms did rise a little....

Preheat oven to 350. 

Chill dough till firm, about half hour. Then bake for about 10 minutes, until firm.

You will need 4 ounces of quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped ready when the dough comes out of the oven.

 Immediately sprinkle chocolate over bottom of shell; smooth with a spatula.  

Phew...the hard part is done, and it really wasn't that hard and can't you just tell how delicious and beautiful these are going to be!

The Filling:

and when I got to the filling, there was an ingredient I had never heard of, 8 oz of creme fraiche.  And since I promised mom we wouldn't have to buy any more ingredients, she recommended that we take 6 ounces of the sour cream we had in the fridge and mix it with 2 ounces of the heavy cream we had into a bowl and let it sit for an hour or so, while we made the crust.  So that's what we did! 

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree..

3/4 cup brown sugar,

8 oz creme fraiche or sourcream and heavy cream mixture...

3 eggs

1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice until smooth. (we did not have the spices the recipe originally called for, so this is how we adapted it)

Pour filling into prepared crust. 

Bake in 350 degree oven for about 28-30 minutes until filling is set.  Transfer to wire rack, and let cool at least 30 minutes.

Dip a fork in melted chocolate, (we use chocolate bark from making chocolate melted in microwave) then drizzle chocolate over tart, forming decorative stripes.

Refrigerate until well set, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Since Thanksgiving is still a way off, we cooled these completely, individually wrapped them first in wax paper then 2 pieces of aluminum foil and crossed our fingers that they would be ok...but that wasn't good enough, we needed to make sure they would be ok before we made this post. 

so through the magic of the is now 24 hours later.  We took one out of the freezer, unwrapped it, and defrosted it on the counter...

and it was delicious. Well, more then delicious...
the crust, the layer of chocolate and then the pumpkin...was a mouthful of flavors that complement each other perfectly.

Not bad for my first Tart...thanks mom.

With love and cupcakes,


  1. that looks awse, well done!!!

  2. ok--I've read. Please don't be surprised when I make a surprise trip to jersey on Thursday.



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