From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I've been known to make non-traditional meals for Thanksgiving dinner, but even when I prepare the traditional feast, chances are I'll experiment with variations on some of the classic dishes that usually accompany it. I found this unusual take on pumpkin pie in an old issue of Fine Cooking magazine and as soon as I saw it, I knew I'd have to give it a try. The tart, which has a shortbread-like crust, is filled with a bourbon laced pumpkin custard and topped with a to-die-for walnut streusel. It's easy to make, but the 3 stage preparation and length of the ingredient list can be off-putting to some. Please do not be dissuaded. This is a lovely, slightly more sophisticated version of good ol' pumpkin pie and it will make the socks of pumpkin lovers go up and down. Last year, I returned from Peru with an embarrassing quantity of jungle rum, so I decided to use it, rather than bourbon, to flavor my custard filling. It worked well, but I'm sure bourbon would also be splendid and the two can be used interchangeably. The tart needs time to ripen, so make and refrigerate it the night before you plan to serve it. It can be served warm, at room temperature or slightly chilled. It begs to be served with lightly whipped cream or a small scoop of really good vanilla ice cream. I do hope you'll try this tart. Those of you who do will not be disappointed. Here is how it is made.
Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel Topping...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Fine Cooking magazine
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold butter, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1) To make crust: Combine flour, sugar, orange peel and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add egg. Gradually add cream, tossing with a fork until a ball forms. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until easy to handle. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a 13-in. circle. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 11-in. fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Set aside.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3) To make filling: Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Pour into crust.
4) To make streusel topping: Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts and ginger. Sprinkle over filling.
5) Bake for 50-65 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers.
Yield: 14 servings.
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