Unless I’m making chocolate-chip cookies or brownies, I find baking stressful. I like to experiment when I cook, even when I’m following a recipe. But apparently “winging it” and baking don’t mesh well.
Nevertheless, I want to bake around the holidays. You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without a homemade pie, right? My mom always made amazing pies for holidays, and she insists it’s not that tricky. I can totally make a pie! All of the pies!
So my annual pattern is:
- Attempt a new and complicated recipe the day 15 people are coming over for dinner
- Fake confidence and refuse help
- Freak out when something goes wrong
- Swear profusely and insist the holiday/the dessert are ruined
- Halfheartedly eat the slightly mangled finished product anyway
It’s fun. For everyone. Happy Thanksgiving!
This year, we asked several other people to bring dessert so I could start step #1 without as much pressure. And with wonderful pep talks and troubleshooting advice from friends who are better bakers than I am, this pumpkin crumble tart experiment turned out surprisingly well. I wanted the creaminess of traditional pumpkin pie, along with the crunchy texture of a crumble, and this checked both boxes.
Before I dig into the recipe, here are some caveats:
- This is a quick and dirty recipe; I didn’t plan to write it up until I had made it a few times and had taken more photos. But tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and this is top of mind. (Just like I always say, “Better done than perfect.” Hahahaha, just kidding, I would never say that.) The picture above Brian snapped with his phone, and I’ll update once we’ve polished the recipe and made it a second time.
- I used David Leibovitz’s apricot crumble tart recipe (from My Paris Kitchen, which I love and highly recommend) and Sally’s Baking Addiction and The Kitchn‘s pumpkin pie recipes for inspiration.
Pumpkin Crumble Tart
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted cold butter (85g)
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 15 oz can (450g) pumpkin puree*
- 4 large eggs
- 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed dark brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoon (30g) cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk
- 1 cup (100g) pecans (or almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts)
- 1/4 cup (50g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut in rough chunks
Make the doughMake the filling*Make the crumble
- Let butter soften out of the fridge for about 5 minutes before you use it. Add it to the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, then add the sugar. Mix until there are no large chunks of butter.
- Add the egg yolks, then flour and sugar. Pulse the mixer a few times until the dough is sticking together.
- Grease a 9 1/2-inch (24 cm) nonstick springform pan, and place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (cut to fit). Use your fingers and the heel of your hand to press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan, and about halfway up the sides.
- Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Line the chilled crust with parchment paper and cover with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove pie weights and set aside.
- Whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs and brown sugar. Add the cornstarch, salt, spices, cream and milk. Mix well until everything is combined.
- Pour filling into the crust; it will likely go past the edge of the crust.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes; it may jiggle slightly but appear mostly set.
- Pulse the ingredients in food processor (or chop the nuts and mix ingredients by hand)
- Place the crumble ingredients in a thin layer in a second pan. When the tart has been baking for about 20 minutes, put the crumble pan in the oven alongside the tart to start browning. Add the crumble topping to the top of the tart toward the end of the tart's baking time, when the filling is almost set (about 10 minutes before it's done).
- Take the tart out of the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan. Let it rest for 30 minutes before removing the springform pan.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
* I had a difficult time working with the Trader Joe's organic pumpkin puree. It seemed to have a more watery consistency than Libby's, making the filling super thin, and I ended up using two cans of the TJ's puree – but it did set correctly in the end. If your filling seems very watery, use 1 1/2 to 2 cans of filling.3.1http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2016/11/23/pumpkin-crumble-tart/