Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cream Tart with Pecan-Oat Crust and Bourbon Cream
This gluten-free pumpkin tart is to die for!
Prep Time: 30minutes
Chilling time: 3hours30minutes
Servings: 8to 10 servings (makes one 8" tart).
Pecan Oat Crust:
1cupold-fashioned rolled oats
1/2cupraw pecan halves
1/4cupunrefined muscobado sugar (such as Alter Eco brand)
1/4teaspoonfine sea salt
3tablespoonscold, unsalted butter, in 1/2" pieces
Pumpkin Pastry Cream:
1 1/2cupswhole milk
1/2vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
1/4teaspoonfreshly grated nutmeg
1/2cupmaple sugar, divided use
3/4cupwinter squash puree
Maple Bourbon Cream:
3/4cupheavy whipping cream
freshly grated nutmeg and toasted pecans, for garnish
Make the crust:
Butter the bottom of an 8" tart pan with removable bottom. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375º.
In a food processor, whiz together the oats, pecans, cornstarch, sugar, salt and cinnamon until the mixture looks like coarse meal or polenta. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture begins to clump together and the butter is incorporated.
Dump the crumbs into the prepared pan and use moistened fingers to press them first up the sides and then into the bottom of the pan. Take the time to get the crust as even as possible, moistening your fingers with just a bit of water when they begin to stick. Freeze the crust until firm, 30 minutes.
Place the crust on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven until toasted and puffed, 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and use the back of a spoon to press the crust gently down and, if it has slipped, back up the sides of the pan. This will keep the crust from being overly-crumbly one cooled and filled. Let cool completely.
Make the pumpkin pastry cream:
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla pod and scrapings, salt and spices. Heat the mixture, swirling occasionally, until steaming and bubbles form around the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat, cover and steep for about 15 minutes. When the mixture has steeped, add 1/4 cup of the maple sugar to the milk mixture. (Adding the acidic maple sugar while the milk heats could cause it to curdle.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of maple sugar and the cornstarch. Whisk in the egg to combine. Whisking constantly, slowly dribble the hot dairy into the egg mixture. Whisk in the squash puree, and return the mixture to the pot.
Place a mesh strainer over a medium, heat-proof bowl and set aside.
Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium heat, whisking constantly with a whisk that is narrow enough to get into the corners of the pot, and alternating with a heat-proof silicone spatula to scrape the bottom and corners. The mixture will begin to thicken on the bottom first, then the whole thing will turn the consistency of lightly whipped cream. The mixture needs to boil for a full minute in order to set properly, so when the mixture has thickened, stop stirring for a few seconds to see if a large bubble or two pop. Keep whisking, then pausing for a few seconds, until you see a few slow bubbles, then set the timer for 1 minute and continue to cook, whisking the dickens out of it.
Immediately scrape the custard into the strainer and work it through with the spatula. Whisk in the butter pieces one at a time. Pour the custard into the cooled shell, spread even, and cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until firm, about 3 hours.
When ready to serve, make the cream topping:
Whip the cream to soft peaks, then add the maple syrup, vanilla and bourbon. Whip until the mixture holds firm peaks. (If you accidentally over-whip and the mixture becomes grainy, no need to worry: just fold in a few tablespoons of additional cream to loosen it back up.)
Remove the ring from the tart by setting the tart on a large can or small, inverted bowl or ramekin with a flat bottom, and gently easing the ring down. Place the tart on a cutting board.
Cover the pie with the cream, and top with a little grated nutmeg. Cut into wedges using a large, sharp chef's knife wiped clean between cuts. Serve the tart with a few toasted pecans for garnish if you like.
The tart is best the day it has been filled, but will keep, refrigerated, for up to three days.
Inspired by Martha Stewart.The custard filling in this tart needs to set for at least 3 hours in order to be sliceable. The tart is best eaten the day it has been filled for the crispest crust. Leftovers are still tasty up to three days later, just a bit softer and more delicate.If you lack the sweeteners listed here, feel free to substitute brown sugar in the crust and granulated sugar in the filling and topping.Making your own squash puree will result in an even more delicious pie than using the canned stuff (though it should do just fine in a pinch). To do so, cut a smallish winter squash in half (I love red kabocha, but butternut, red lantern, hubbard, and blue hokkaido squash are all delicious, too). Leave the seeds in; they're easier to remove post-baking. Place the squash, cut-side down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet, and roast in a 375º oven until tender and collapsing, around 45 minutes. Let the flesh cool, then scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. Scoop the flesh into a food processor and puree smooth. Extra puree will keep in the fridge for up to a week, or it can be frozen for up to several months.Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings.