Pumpkin Tarts

By Julie

Time: 40 min

Serves: 15 tarts

It’s that time of year when all things pumpkin come out.  Admittedly, I think it’s going  a little overboard lately.  Tim Hortons started peddling their pumpkin wares in August this year and the pumpkin spice crazy is getting a little bit over-done.  I do like some traditional pumpkin pie, but I also love the versatility of tarts.  I like how they are small, personal portions and how pretty they are with their rustic dough.  You can make your dough prettier by using a cutter and folding it and forming it properly with a rounded spoon, but I like the folded look with the uneven edges.  It shouts, “hey!  I’m homemade”.  Don’t make your pastry too thin however, the filling is heavy and they need some sturdy support.  The goal is to roll them just shy of a quarter-inch.  My favourite part of pumpkin pie is the warm spices.  I like it spicy.

You Will Need:

  • One tart pastry recipe – you will have enough filling for 15 tarts or so.  I used the pastry from Maple Raisin Butter Tarts.  This is my universal tart dough.
  • 1 cup brown sugar.  I used dark but light is fine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 14oz of pureed pumpkin.  Canned is fine
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

The cream is important.  You want the filling to stiffen on baking so it holds up in the tart shells

Prep

Grease your muffin tins, I used a full 12 plus a 6 to use up all of this filling.  I ended up with 15 tarts.  Preheat oven 450F.

Make The Filling

Mix the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large bowl.  I used a mixer but it is not necessary.  Add eggs and mix until incorporated.  Mix in pumpkin, then add milk and cream.

Bake

Fill the tart shells 3/4 full.  Use an egg-wash if you like shiny pastry.  Bake at 400 for 15 min then reduce to 350 for 20-25 min.  Your tarts should be set and nicely browned.  Jiggle the pan to make sure the center is set.  It should be stiff.  Let cool completely in tart shells before removing.  Serve the same day.  These will keep for a few days in the fridge but once you go there the pastry will soften some but still be delicious.  Top with a generous portion of whipped cream because it’s delicious and why wouldn’t you?  This recipe also works just fine in a 9 inch pie shell.

Ma’s Rhubarb Custard Pie

By:  Julie

Serves:  1 9-inch pie

Time:  10 min prep, 50-60 min bake

Anyone who has ever eaten my Grandmother’s food will tell you it’s the best they’ve had.  Because it is.  I grew up eating like a queen.  One of the things she made that is on my list of favorites is Rhubarb Custard Pie.  It is simple, but amazing.  Ma used 3/4 a tsp of nutmeg, and this is what really makes it stand out, but if you are not a fan of nutmeg like my mother you can substitute some or all of it for cinnamon.  The sugar seems like a lot, but if your rhubarb is tart you will need every bit of it.

You Will Need

  • 1 double crust pastry recipe, like Flaky, Tender, Tasty Pie Crust
  • 4 cups of rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup of packed, light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs – well beaten
  • 2 tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 350F

Roll out bottom crust and place in 9 inch pie pan, trimming edges.  In a large bowl, mix the sugar, salt, and flour together until well mixed.  Add the eggs and mix.  Finally, add the rhubarb.  Pour into prepared shell.

Roll out top crust onto lightly floured counter.  Use a pastry cutter or a pizza wheel to cut at least 9 1-inch wide strips.  Place strips vertically across pie 1 inch apart.  Fold down every-other strip in half and lay a strip across horizontally, 1 inch from the pie edge.  Unfold the halved pieces over the new strip and fold down the next 2 strips. Add another horizontal piece and unfold the folded strips over top.  Repeat until the crust is complete.  Trim the excess and tuck the strips underneath the bottom crust.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 50 min.  Check occasionally and use a pie crust shield if necessary.  Insert a knife to make sure it’s set and allow to cool before serving.  I had to give mine an extra 10 minutes to brown the crust the way I like.  The result was tart and delicious with perfect crust.