Dorie Greenspan's Pumpkin Pie/Tart has been my favorite for years, and I have to have it every fall. Sometimes it graces our table on Thanksgiving. I love it cold straight from the fridge, but my mom likes to warm her slice in the oven for a few minutes. I think it's perfect -- creamy and mellow, the spices fragrant but not too sharp. I brought one of these tarts in to work last weekend, and one co-worker called it "sublime." Another said it was "really fockin' tasty."
If I have one complaint, it's that there's always too much filling unless you bake it in a deep-dish pie pan. But because I like the fancy-schmancy look, I divided the filling between a round tart and a rectangular tart. If you do this, you'll need to double the recipe for the dough, and you'll have dough left over. Shape it into decorative leaves like I did here. Or roll out the leftover dough, cut it into strips, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake. Whichever way you make the tart/pie, I think there should always be a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
Sour Cream Pumpkin Tart
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours
Tart or Pie Crust, partially baked and cooled (recipe follows)
2 cups 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 (I use half-and-half)
⅓ cup sour cream (I use light)
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 instead of a pie, but use it to make a second tart. You'll need to double the dough recipe, below.
1¼ cups pastry flour (if you can't get it, use all-purpose flour)
Pinch of coarse salt
8 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
¼ cup cold water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt. (Or do this in a large bowl, with a handheld pastry blender.) Add the butter, and pulse until there are crumbs the size of small peas. Add the water a little at a time while pulsing, then check the mixture. It should hold together as a dough when you squeeze a small handful. You may not need all the water.
Empty the dough into a bowl and knead together just until combined. Form the dough into a disk and wrap with cling wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, and up to two days. If chilling for longer than 30 minutes, let it rest at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes for ease of rolling.
Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour, then roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle. Carefully roll the dough onto the pin, then unfurl into a 9-inch pie pan or tart pan. Carefully tuck the dough into the edges of the pan, then fold the overhang of the dough downward to create a reinforced edge. With a knife, trim away the excess dough. Chill the dough, pan and all, in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
To partially bake the crust, preheat the oven to 400°. I used my new metal-and-silicone pie weight, pictured above. If you don't have one of those, fit a sheet of parchment into the pan, then fill with dried beans or rice. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes (15 for a tart). Carefully remove the pie weight or parchment with beans or rice. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Return the pie or tart pan to the oven and bake for 8 minutes more, or until the crust is very lightly colored. Cool to room temperature before filling.