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Pumpkin Tartlets

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Yields 12 tartlets.

  • by Carole Walter from Fine Cooking
    Issue 41

You might want to garnish these with whipped cream and perhaps a very thin strip of orange zest, twisted into a knot. Since these tarts only require 1/3 of the dough recipe, it's easy to double or triple the tarts, or you can also bake one batch each of Pecan Tartlets and Gingery Cranberry-Pear Tartlets.

  • 1/3 recipe of Sweet Tartlet Dough
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • A few dashes ground cloves

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

Lightly spray a standard-size 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil (not necessary for nonstick tins). Using the score lines as a guide, cut off 12 1-inch pieces of dough (reserve the rest of the dough for another use). Roll each piece into a ball in your palms (lightly flour your hands, if necessary). Put one ball in the center of each muffin cup.

If you have a wooden tart tamper, flour it lightly. Press the wider end onto a ball of dough until the dough thins out and begins coming up the sides of the cup, and then twist the tamper slightly to release it. Use the tamper’s narrower end to push the dough halfway up the sides and to smooth out the dough where the sides meet the bottom. If you don’t have a tart tamper, use a narrow, flat-bottomed glass or your fingers, lightly floured, to press the dough into the cups.

Tilt the muffin tin to see if the dough reaches the same level in all the cups; also check for any holes in the dough (this could cause the tartlet to stick to the pan). Rub your thumb around the rim of the dough in each cup for a clean, smooth edge. Slightly less than 1/2 inch of each cup should be exposed. Chill for at least 10 minutes to firm the dough.

Put all the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Pulse just until the mixture is smooth, 5 to 6 times; don’t overprocess. Empty the filling into a measuring cup with a spout and pour the filling into the dough-lined muffin cups.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the tartlets to loosen and then let them cool until they’re firm enough to handle, about another 15 minutes. Using the tip of a small knife, gently lift the tartlets from the pan and set them on a wire rack to cool.

Make Ahead Tips

You can fill and bake the tartlets up to four weeks ahead and freeze them. To do this, put the baked and cooled tartlets on a shallow pan and freeze until firm, then layer them between waxed paper in an airtight container. Baked tartlets will also hold for three days in the fridge, wrapped in waxed paper and then foil (not plastic wrap). To refresh, bake the tartlets uncovered at 325°F until warm, 5 to 7 minutes if refrigerated; 12 to 15 minutes if frozen.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per tartlet; Calories (kcal): 130; Fat (g): 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 80; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2; Carbohydrates (g): 13; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 50; Cholesterol (mg): 50; Fiber (g): 1;

These are very tasty and really cute. I made them for my daughter's preschool class for their Thanksgiving feast. They were the perfect size. I even made a little leaf cut out cookie from the spare dough to decorate the top. The dough is delicious and easy to handle, especially if you use a tart tamper.

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