MOAR PUMPKIN indeed! I had some oatmeal pie crust/tart dough left in the freezer from when I made my mini (rose) apple tarts so I thought I’d continue the autumnal posts and make some mini pumpkin pies/tarts topped with a dot of homemade whipped cream, nutmeg and cinnamon.
As always, this recipe is really flexible. If you’re vegan, use a small amount of thick coconut milk instead of cream for the pie filling and use cocoa butter in the crust. You can also skip the dot of whipped cream and go for chopped nuts. If you don’t have pumpkin, use some yams, zucchini or carrots.
With a moist spiced filling and an oatmeal crust that, though high in fiber and protein, tastes a lot like shortbread cookies, this tart recipe is definitely a winner. Cute and perfectly portioned for those who are watching what they eat, but still want to enjoy NOMS in moderation (to best way to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, IMHO).
- half cup of grated pumpkin (skinned first if your pumpkin is not orange through and through)
- two tablespoons of whipping cream or thick coconut milk
- Splenda to taste (depending on the flavor of your pumpkin, this may not be necessary)
- chopped nuts or homemade whipped cream to top (I’ll explain how to make this with coconut milk as well)
- six tablespoon sized balls of chilled homemade tart dough (recipe can be found on my apple tart post, but I’ll include a scaled down recipe below)
I had a bunch of Dongsheng pumpkin left over from my mini pumpkin buns and superfood porridge so mini pumpkin tarts were definitely the way to go. Like I said above, make sure to peel the pumpkin before grating if the pumpkin’s skin is not orange. I forgot to do this and ended up with a greenish tint in my filling. No worries though, pumpkin skin is very nutritious!
Grate around half a cup of pumpkin and microwave it in a covered container for two minutes or so, and then in 30 second intervals until the pumpkin is soft. Mix in three or four pinches of nutmeg (go crazy with the nutmeg…so yummy), two pinches of cinnamon, some Splenda and mash with a fork.
Combine the pumpkin mash and two tablespoons of coconut milk or whipping cream into a food processor or your bootleg blender (I’ve linked the exact one that I purchased here in Guangzhou) and puree away! You may find that you need to add more cream/coconut milk so the mixture isn’t too thick. It’s ok if it’s a little soupy, it will firm up in the oven. You might also want to fluff it up with a whisk before pouring the mixture into the tart cups so your pumpkin filling is extra airy.
The Oatmeal “Butter” Cookie Crust
Check out my mini rose apple tarts to see where I first introduced this delicious cookie!
Combine a quarter cup and a tablespoon of oatmeal flour (run a little under half a cup of steel cut oats through a bootleg blender until you have a fine flour/powder), a pinch of salt, packet of Splenda and around two tablespoons of frozen margarine in a food processor and pulse until the margarine is coarsely cut. Add in a teaspoon worth of egg (skip if you’re vegan) and a few drops of lemon juice. When chunks start forming, take the mix out of processor and knead it into a dough on a floured surface. Sprinkle in some more oatmeal flour if it’s too sticky or soft. Place your dough in a plastic bag and let it chill in the freezer for about half an hour. You’ll need around six tablespoon sized balls of chilled dough for your tarts.
Press the dough into flat disks and lay them on the bottom of a silicone baking cup. Using your thumbs, press the dough into the cup in a circular motion.
Put the cups into the oven at 325F/~160C for around 10-15min. Take them out just before the cookies crusts start to brown. Let them cool. I took my cups out of the oven a couple minutes too late so they’re a little darker than what’s ideal…got side tracked by my pumpkin buns!
The Mini Tarts/Pies!
Pour your pumpkin filling into your tart crusts and pop them into the oven at 325F/~160C for around 30-40 minutes, or until the filling no longer jiggles when you shake the cup.
For the whipped cream, beat or whisk a quarter cup of chilled whipping cream (or chilled coconut milk with a little bit of tapioca starch) and a tablespoon of sugar together. Scoop the mixture into a piping bag and stick it into the freezer for 15 minutes or until it sets. Then top your tarts with a dot of your homemade whipped cream, some nutmeg and maybe a pinch of cinnamon sugar.
As always, don’t be afraid of tasting as you go and messing around with the measurements! It’s the only way to make sure every recipe you try is tailored perfectly for you. I actually don’t measure when I cook/bake and tend to just throw things in little by little based on taste, texture and appearance.