Sweet Tart Dough (Makes one rather thick 10" crust, or (probably) two thinnish 8" crusts)
1cupall purpose flour
1/2cupwhole wheat or whole spelt flour
9tablespoonscold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes, (4 1/2 ounces)
1egg, lightly beaten
Creamy Pumpkin Tart Filling (Makes enough to fill one 10 or 11" tart shell, or one 9" pie)
2medium sweet potatoes
1cupwinter squash puree or canned pumpkin
2teaspoonsfreshly grated ginger
1/4teaspoonfreshly grated nutmeg
1tablespoonbrandy or bourbon (optional)
Sweet Tart Dough
In a food processor, pulse together the dries to combine. Scatter the butter chunks over the top, and pulse several times until the butter is somewhat incorporated, with some pea-sized butter lumps remaining. Pulse as you add the egg a little at a time, then continue to pulse (does that sound dirty, or is it me?) until the dough comes together in large clumps. Don't overmix.
Turn the dough out and press into a ball. You can either flatten it into a disk, chill it for half an hour or so, then roll it out and so on. Or you can lazily press the unchilled dough into the pan, working it outwards and up the sides, making it as even as possible. Try to maintain the crumbly texture of the dough, this will make for a tender crust. Dock the dough all over with the tines of a fork.
Chill the tart shell for half an hour, then freeze for at least 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375º. Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Place a sheet of parchment paper in the shell, then fill with pie weights (or clean pennies, or dry beans), pressing the weights into the corners of the crust. Trim the edges of the paper so they don't burn in the oven. Tip: I store my pie weights in a cheesecloth bag which I place directly on the parchment. This makes them easy to move around.
Place the baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the sides are set and the bottom looks relatively dry when you remove the weights and parchment. Remove the weights and parchment, and continue baking the crust another 10 minutes or so, until the bottom just begins to brown.
Creamy Pumpkin Tart Filling
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool, scoop out the flesh and puree smooth. You should have a scant 2 cups.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sweet potato, pumpkin, sugar, maple syrup, spices and salt. Puree smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cook at a sputtering simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes. The mixture should be thick and shiny. Remove from the heat.
In the food processor, whiz together the dairy, eggs, yolks, vanilla and booze until combined. Gradually whisk the dairy mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Strain the whole deal through a fine mesh sieve. Give it a last whisk, and pour into the warm, parbaked tart shell. (If you have extra custard, pour into ramekins and bake once you've reduced the oven temp to 300º).
Place the tart, still on the baking sheet, in the 400º oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 300º. Bake until the edges of the tart are slightly puffed and set and the center wobbles like jell-o when you jiggle it, 20-35 minutes. It should not be soupy. An instant read thermometer should register 175º when inserted in the center.
Remove the tart and let cool at room temperature 2-3 hours. The tart is still baking from residual heat, so don't try to chill it in the fridge, or it will not set properly.
Serve cold or at room temperature, with a dollop of maple sweetened whipped cream, and a grating of fresh nutmeg, if desired.
Update: I finally made the perfect pumpkin pie! Get the recipe here.Sweet Tart Dough Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Dorie Greenspan.Creamy Pumpkin Tart Filling Adapted from Cook's Illustrated.Nutritional values are based on one of ten servings.