As much as I love baking pies, they take time that I don’t always have around the holidays. Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and friends and sometimes that means I need to take a short cut or two in the kitchen so I can be a part of the festivities. This is where my friend the tart pan comes into the picture. You can make this Pumpkin-Pecan Tart with Whole Wheat Crust in just a few simple steps and have a Thanksgiving-worthy dessert every bit as delicious as a traditional pumpkin pie. Top it with some Spiced Whipped Cream and this tart will fast become one of your new favorite recipes.
What makes this dessert so effortless you ask? The crust is mixed together in a food processor and pressed into the tart pan. The fluted edges of the pan give the tart an elegant look without you needing to roll, pinch or fiddle much with the crust at all. Easy, easy, easy.
Begin by mixing the toasted pecans and powdered sugar in a food processor until the nuts are finely ground. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the pecans as finely as possible, almost powder-like, and whisk together with the powdered sugar.
Add the Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour to the food processor and pulse to combine. This is the perfect dessert to showcase the naturally sweet, nutty taste of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. You can use all Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour in this crust if you like or go 50/50 with Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour like I did to make sure this tart has mass appeal. Holidays aren’t always the time to introduce new tastes – my family frequently threatens mutiny if I fool too much with their beloved holiday foods. That being said, a little bit of whole wheat here and there is a good way to get the whole grain health benefits onto our plates more often – plus it tastes great, especially in this tart crust.
Add the cubes of cold butter and pulse until the butter is pea-sized. Pour in the egg yolk and pulse until the mixture clumps together.
**If you don’t have a food processor, whisk the flour into the pecan/sugar mixture until well combined. Then work the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two forks until the butter is pea-sized. Use your fingers or a fork to mix the egg yolk into the flour mixture until clumps form.
Press the crumbs of dough into a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Do your best to get the crumbs evenly distributed in the pan, wetting your fingertips if the dough gets too sticky. Push the crumbs up the sides and into the fluted grooves of the pan using your thumb to push back down along the edge as you flatten around the top.
To prevent the crust from puffing up too much during baking, pierce the bottom with a fork a few times, then freeze the crust for 30 minutes. (The crust can be frozen for up to a month if it’s wrapped in plastic wrap once it becomes solid. )
While the crust is chilling, blend the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, eggs, rum, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl until it’s creamy and smooth. Set aside.
Once the crust has chilled long enough, place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in a 350˚F oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the hot crust and continue to bake until the filling is set – about 25-30 minutes. By adding the pumpkin mixture immediately to the hot crust, the filling starts to cook right away and the crust doesn’t get soggy.
When it’s finished baking, transfer the tart pan to a wire rack to cool. Once the tart is room temperature, it can be refrigerated up to two days. Once it’s chilled, cover the tart loosely with plastic wrap. Remove the tart ring before slicing and serving. Top with plain or spiced whipped cream if desired.
Tart pans are the perfect solution for those of us who like to bake from scratch, but don’t always have the time to commit to making a pie. The crust is tender and has a wonderful nutty flavor from the Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. The pumpkin filling is smooth and creamy and has just the right amount of spice – everything you’re looking for in the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.
If you decide that pumpkin pie is your preference, I highly recommend giving my Ultimate Pumpkin Pie a try – it’s fantastic and definitely not your typical, run-of-the mill pie. Otherwise, get a hold of a tart pan and make this Pumpkin-Pecan Tart with Whole Wheat Crust and Spiced Whipped Cream. It’s even easier than pie. Enjoy!
Pumpkin-Pecan Tart with Spiced Whipped Cream
- 1 15.oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon spiced rum (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Put powdered sugar and toasted pecans in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground. Add the flours and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is in small pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork several times and then freeze the crust for 30 minutes and up to a month – wrap in plastic wrap once dough is solid if freezing for more than a day. While the dough is chilling, mix together the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, eggs, rum, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice in a medium-sized bowl with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Place the chilled tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in a 350˚F oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately pour the pumpkin filling into the hot crust and continue baking for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is set. Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the tart is room temperature it can be refrigerated for up to two days before serving. Be sure to remove the tart ring before slicing and serving. Top with plain or spiced whipped cream if desired.
Spiced Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon spiced rum (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Toasted pecan halves for garnish (optional)
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cream, condensed milk, rum and vanilla. Whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Serve on top of Pumpkin Pecan Tart and garnish with a pecan half if desired. Dust the whipped cream with a touch of ground cinnamon for added decoration.
Adapted from Cuisine Holiday Menus