Friday, October 24, 2008

The Best Pumpkin Tart/Pie

This pumpkin pie is different. It's smoother and mellower than your usual pumpkin pie, and has the versatility of being dressed up as a fancy tart. I love it chilled, but some want it warm. I also make mine more festive with a few cutouts from leftover pie dough. Top it off with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, and it feels like the holidays!

Dorie Greenspan's Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie (or Tart)
9-inch single crust, partially baked and cooled *recipe below*
2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1½ cups heavy cream
⅓ cup sour cream
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tsp ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves (I omitted)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 tbs dark rum (I also omitted)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat and put the pie plate (or tart pan) on it.
Mix together all the filling ingredients, then pour into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 300° and continue to bake for 35 to 45 minutes longer (20 to 25 minutes for a tart), or until a knife inserted close to the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
You'll have filling left over if you make a tart, but use it to make mini-tarts or possibly another tart.
I used Martha Stewart's pate brisee because I know it like the back of my hand, but here's Dorie's pie dough recipe.

3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1½ tsp salt
2½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
⅓ cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
About ½ cup ice water

Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the fats are cut into the flour. Pulsing on and off, gradually add 3 tbs water, then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. Pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Lightly knead the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling.
To partially bake the crust, preheat the oven to 400°. Butter one side of a sheet of aluminum foil and place that down on the crust. Fill the foil with dried beans or rice or pie weights. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights, and if the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Return the pie plate to the oven and bake for 8 minutes more, or until the crust is very lightly colored. (I skipped the 8 minutes when making the tart.) Cool to room temperature before filling.

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