I never thought that pumpkin can be used in so many ways to make different kind of desserts and savouries, but there is always a first time, a new beginning and after few trial and error steps, it slowly sink in you that you are in love with this new-found dish. When you stays in so many new places, it is a human nature to get influenced by the local customs and traditions, and you wish to be part of that festivities, after all any festival brings nothing but joys and cheer to your life…and that matters only.
Back home in India, we have our own harvest festivals, mostly rice is being seen as a symbol of harvest, and we celebrated it in our own way and a typical ritual always ends up in something sweet. We usually use pumpkin as a vegetable in curry or in dal and its yellow blossoms are sometimes served as a fritters which goes well with hot steamed rice….yumm. And to make something sweet with pumpkin is rather unusual, having said that it sounds little ironical that I have made a pumkin halva which surprisingly turn out to be very good, if you have not tried it yet, then go and at least try it once, you will love it.
The versatility of pumpkin has been dawned upon me recently after moving to USA, where pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time and there is a great tradition of serving pumpkin pie in thanksgiving which is a harvest festival. And how obvious it is…wherever you stays on Earth, it is a human trait to thanks mother Earth for a good harvest, for a good life and whether you celebrate it with rice or pumpkin, it is same everywhere.
With the onset of Fall or Autumn, pumpkin patches starts creeping their way to the local grocery store along with apple cider and fresh cranberries, the giant ones are carved jack -o – lantern for Halloween to cute little pumpkins, some are having tiger strips too !!! and the food shops starts selling everything flavored with pumpkin !!! So, it is no wonder that Dunkin Donuts dishing out some amazing pumpkin donuts, muffins and even pumpkin spiced fruit drinks which get vanished in few hours !!!
Pumpkin donuts was rather unusual for me, but I instantly fell in love with it, not overly sweet and the nutmeg flavor does the work, I liked it… instantly and immensely. The seductive posters of pumpkin pies was enough to lure you into this, and I end up in buying a pie pumpkin, not the real pie and the two cute little pumpkins.
I am not good in making a short crust pastry, so I bought a frozen rolled pie dough, but someday I will definitely make my pie dough, flaky and buttery…. Pie pumpkins has buttery texture and the cooking pumpkin has grainy texture and more watery, something which you wont like in a pie.
I was not sure of baking a whole 9 inch pie, so I thought of baking mini pumpkin tarts, good for those who loves small servings. This recipe is nothing but baking a pumpkin pie in tart shells, just like pumpkin pie a thick pumpkin puree is all you need with eggs beaten in to it and flavored with pumpkin spice which is an equal measure of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon powder, and off course it is laden with sugar.
Short crust pastry or ready-made pie dough : 1 packet
For filling :
Pie pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree : 1 cup
Eggs : 2
Sugar / light brown sugar : 1/4 cup
Pumpkin pie spice : 1 tsp or equal measure of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground allspice
Salt : 1/4 tsp
Cream : 1/4 cup but is optional
Thaw the pie pastry at room temperature and rolled it between two sheets of baking paper.
Greased mini tart pans and lined it with the pie pastry. Press the pastry into the tart pan and trim away any extra pastry. Line the pastry shell with a piece of baking paper and pour some baking beads or in cooked rice.
Bake for some 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 F, until the edges get evenly browned or pastry is cooked through.
Take the tart shells out of the oven, remove the paper and baking beads or rice and set aside.
Beat the eggs, sugar and pumpkin puree together, add the spices, cream if you are using it and blend well. If the filling get little runny then add some flour to it.
Pour the filling into the pie shell and smooth the surface.
Bake for another 20 minutes or until set.
Allow the pumpkin pie tarts to cool and serve chilled.
Have you tried our pumpkin bread with pepitas topping yet?
The b/w pumpkin photo in this post depicting a wine making scenario in ancient times is my entry to Susan’s Black and White Wednessdays.
This post is also linked to Vardhini’s bake fest
Have a good day