As the holidays approach, the baking season is upon us.  Some of us will be entertaining, and some attending parties. Either way many of us will be attempting new baking projects. My goal today is to try to make it slightly less intimidating.  Where can time be spared, and what if I don’t have that ingredient?

Tarts seem to be my focus lately, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so I searched Pumpkin Tart on Pintrest.  Dozens of beautiful great sounding recipes appeared. How do I even begin to pick one? Bailey’s irish cream pumpkin tart Mmmmmm! Not realistic for me at this time though. Holiday season is upon us, and Im a part time flight attendant, equals I’m broke. So, I need to work with what I have in kitchen.

I found: http://www.marthastewart.com/314415/pumpkin-chocolate-spiderweb-tart

Many of the ingredients in this recipe I already had, or had something similar.

It is important to read the recipe!  Why you ask?  Well, number one it nice to know what your getting your hands into before it’s to late, and to know where you have wiggle room.

First and for most prep your tart shell. Tart shells are supposed to come away leaving the item to stand alone. They have shorter sides then pie pans, and a spring bottom. You could use a pie dish instead, in which you would only need to grease it.

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Cut a piece of parchment that is the same width of your pan. Fold it in half, then in quarters, then in eights, possibly sixteenth if needed.  Keep the corner in the center like you would if you were making a snowflake.  Measure it half way across the bottom, and cut it xo it will create a circle.  Open it up and test to see if it fits.  If it is to large just folded it up again and trip what you need to. Grease the pan, lay the parchment inside, and grease one more.  This will help the tart come away from the pan in the end.

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ingredients

Chocolate Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

#1 All purpose flour… consult with google about amount equivalents to the specified flour you want to use instead.

#2 Sugar… I have Bakers fine white sugar, but Sugar is sugar. However I don’t recommend a course sugar.

#3 unsweetened cocoa powder… for chocolate crust you really need the cocoa. You can use hot chocolate mix but remember its already sweetened so cut back on the sugar a little bit.

#4 Salt… It enhances the flavors, it won’t wreck your recipe if you don’t have it.

#5 Cinnamon, and clove… just flavoring. You can add as much or as little, or replace it with a different spice you like.

#6 Butter… In many cases you can switch butter out for any kind of oil. Because this is pie crust you really do want small pieces of COLD butter. This prevents the butter from completely mixing in. That way when it cooks there is little pockets of butter that melt away and create a flaky texture and not a dense one.

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#7 Egg… I personally would not substitute an egg.

#6 Best-quality semi sweet chocolate… IM BROKE! WHY? DO I HAVE TO?!?! Read the recipe before you get started. How is this ingredient being used and do I really have to use it?

Bake shell until firm, about 15 minutes. Immediately sprinkle chocolate over bottom of shell; smooth with a spatula.

This will prevent your crust from getting soggy when you add the filling, but you can use any chocolate you want. I used a grater instead of chopping it.

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Directions

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Add butter; mix on low speed until butter is the size of small peas, about 5 minutes. Add egg; mix until ingredients come together to form a dough. 

Easy!

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to just thicker than 1/8 inch. Brush off excess flour; transfer dough to a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press dough into bottom and up sides of pan; trim excess flush with edge. Lightly prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. 

Forking it will allow the air to escape so you don’t get a bubble in the bottom. Chilling it will make things stay where they are supposed to when cooking.

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  • Bake shell until firm, about 15 minutes. Immediately sprinkle chocolate over bottom of shell; smooth with a spatula.

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Filling

  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

#1 Pumpkin pure vs. filling… the difference is the filling is already flavored.

#2 Light brown sugar… white sugar, light/ dark brown sugar. Difference is in the taste. Molasses is added. If you wanted a more moist sugar but didn’t have or like molasses you could add a little honey, agave, maple syrup etc.

#3 Creme friache or sour cream… you can also use yogurt too. Flavored yogurts are great too they help boost the flavors. Just make sure they compliment the dish. I don’t think key lime pie would work well with pumpkin pie.

#4 eggs… eggs, eggs, eggs some people say mayo, baking powder, apple sauce… personally I would go to the store or ask a neighbor for an egg.

#5 Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground clove… these are flavors. Here you can add more or less or even cut out. I like nutmeg so I actually added a whole teaspoon. I don’t really like ginger so I didn’t put it in there, and I did a little less cinnamon and clove.

#6 Salt…  Again, it enhances the flavors, it won’t wreck your recipe if you don’t have it.

#7  Best-quality semi sweet chocolate… Again, IM BROKE! WHY? DO I HAVE TO?!?!  Read the recipe before you get started.  How is this ingredient being used, and do I really have to use it?

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of barely simmering water; heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Transfer chocolate to a parchment paper cone or resealable bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner. Pipe about 15 evenly spaced lines radiating out from center of tart. Pipe curved lines around perimeter of tart, connecting each spoke. Continue piping curved lines, spacing them closer together as you near the center. Refrigerate tart until set, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day).

NO! It is just for decoration. You can use whatever chocolate you have or none at all.

Now for Assembling…

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, creme fraiche, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves until smooth. Pass mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl (discard solids). Pour filling into prepared crust, just to top edge.  IMG_0760 IMG_0764

    I expect my pumpkin tart to have pumpkin texture. Passing the mixture through a fine sieve is just for a smoother texture. I hate doing dishes and I don’t have a fine sieve. So, SKIP!

  2. . Bake until filling is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool at least 30 minutes.

     

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    A wire rack allows air to pass underneath, speeding the cooling process. Great if you have one, if not its not the end of the world. Your tart will no be ruined.

  3.  Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of barely simmering water; heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Transfer chocolate to a parchment paper cone or resealable bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner. Pipe about 15 evenly spaced lines radiating out from center of tart. Pipe curved lines around perimeter of tart, connecting each spoke. Continue piping curved lines, spacing them closer together as you near the center. Refrigerate tart until set, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day).

SKIP!!! Most people like whip cream anyway.

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I hope this was helpful and made the idea of baking less scary.

Enjoy!

Emily-Bio-JPEG

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