Pumpkin Tart with Anise Crust

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Growing up my dad was always in charge of the pies whether it was summer or the holidays. He took his job very seriously and we knew to clear the kitchen to give him space to work his pie magic. While I have baked my own pies, I prefer to leave them to my dad, so I’ve focused more on tarts. To me a tart is just the right balance of filling to crust (I’m a filling person rather than a crust person), plus I find the crust a bit easier to work with.

I started making this tart a few years ago for Thanksgiving and it has been well received by my family. By adding anise to the crust it tastes a bit like an Italian cookie which works really well with the spiced pumpkin filling.  If you don’t like anise, you can leave out the seeds, but you’ll be missing a wonderful taste combination.

Holiday Tip:  Tart can be prepared in one day (allow for about 7 hours) or follow this schedule: make crust dough 4 days prior; roll and bake crust 2 days prior; and, prepare filling and bake tart 1 day prior. The day you’re serving it you can focus on preparing other food.

Pumpkin Tart with Anise Crust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Tart with Anise Crust
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Recipe type: Dessert
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons ice water
Tart Filling
  • 1-1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/3 cups heavy cream
Serve with
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Special Equipment
  • 11-by 1-1/4-inch fluted round tart pan (1-1/4 inch deep) with a removable bottom
  • Pie weights or dried beans
Instructions
For Crust
  1. Stir together flour, sugar, salt and anise seeds.
  2. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.
  3. Stir together egg yolk and 1-1/2 tablespoons water and drizzle evenly over butter mixture.
  4. Gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.
  5. Squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn’t hold together, add remaining ½ tablespoon ice water, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated. (Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.)
  6. Turn out dough onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions.
  7. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat.
  8. Gather all dough into a ball, with a pastry scraper if you have one, then flatten into a disk.
  9. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  10. When ready to make the crust, roll out dough into a 14-inch round on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, then fit into tart pan and trim excess dough.
  11. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  12. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  13. Lightly prick bottom of shell with a fork, then line with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake shell until side is set and edge is pale golden, about 15 minutes.
  14. Remove foil and weights and bake shell until golden all over, about 15 minutes more. Cool completely in pan. Tart shell can be baked 1 day ahead and kept (once cool), wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
For Tart Filling
  1. Whisk together pumpkin, sugar, spices and salt in large bowl.
  2. Whisk in eggs and then cream.
  3. Pour filling into cooled tart shell. Filling should reach just below the top of the crust. Take care not to overfill.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  5. Bake until puffed about 1-1/2 inches from edge and center is just set, 40 to 45 minutes. (Cover edge of tart with foil if browning too quickly.)
  6. Cool in pan, about 2 hours. Tart will continue to set as it cools.
  7. Tart can be made one day prior to serving.
  8. Store covered at room temperature.
Notes
* Tart can be prepared in one day (allow for about 7 hours) or follow this schedule: make crust dough 4 days prior; roll and bake crust 2 days prior; and, prepare filling and bake tart 1 day prior to serving.
* Don't like anise? You can leave the anise seeds out.
* Extra filling? Place in small ramekins and bake alongside the tart for the same amount of time.

 

 

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