Tuesday, November 30, 2010

chocolate-pumpkin tart

This is one of those recipes that has been in my pile for about a year and I’m glad I finally got around to trying it because it’s a keeper. It's fantastic! It comes from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine. I inherited a huge stack of these magazines last year and have been leafing my way through them ever since.

Click here to see how beautiful the professional photos are (unlike mine….) You can see why I was inspired. Especially nice is the crisp chocolate layer hidden between the pumpkin and the crust. I wish the pumpkin top had smoothed out more during baking, because I was not pleased with the look of the final product, but that did not hinder the taste at all. It is not too sweet and the chocolate really enhances the pumpkin flavor.

I did have a tiny bit of trouble spreading the melted chocolate over the crumb crust, but luckily, the pumpkin hid my mess…..

And finally, I think some type of garnish would have jazzed up the look of this- it doesn't need more chocolate flavor so a chocolate drizzle would be too much.... but there’s always next time…. And there will be a next time!

Here’s what you need:
1 ½ C chocolate teddy graham cookies
2 T sugar
3 T melted butter (plus more for later)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 ½ C canned pumpkin
1 large egg
½ C  heavy cream
¼  C pure maple syrup
¼ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
¼ t salt

Here’s what you do:
Pulverize the cookies and sugar in a food processor until very fine. Add the melted butter. 

Using the bottom of a small measuring cup, carefully press the crumbs in the bottom (not the sides) of an ungreased 9-inch removable bottom tart pan. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and pre-bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. I used baking chocolate and did not have the problems some people in the reviews were having. If you see on the Everyday Food site, people who used chocolate chips had trouble with this step. Chips never melt very well.

Pour the melted chocolate over the crust and carefully spread it. I did have one messy place as you can see, but no problem.

Freeze the whole thing for about 5 minutes to set it all in place. Then, with a pastry brush, spread some melted butter around the edges and up the sides of the tart pan. This kept the pumpkin layer from sticking to the pan when you remove the sides – worked great!

Whisk the egg, pumpkin, cream, syrup, spices and salt until a beautiful consistency and pour over the chocolate. Take some time to smooth it out now, mine was not so pretty…….

Continue to bake (on the baking sheet) for about 45 minutes or until set. Cool for 1 hour and store in the refrigerator. Keeping the whole thing cold is essential if you want the crisp, hard layer of chocolate in the middle. It would not be as dramatic if that middle layer was room temperature.

This was a breeze to unmold, but I did not dare to lift the tart from the bottom of the pan. If you are looking for something a bit more sophisticated to replace your regular pumpkin pie this might just do the trick! It’s really good!

(printable recipe)

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