Spiced Pumpkin Custard Pies (Tarts)


I was so excited to have Thanksgiving and Black Friday off this year. It was four days off in a row. That’s the most I have had since I started work at my new place in May. However, I was greeted with some personal issues a couple of days before, which resulted in me thinking long and hard about my future.

I don’t usually celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, I go out of my way not to celebrate Thanksgiving. Why? I am a non-American, and am thankful everyday for what I have. To demonstrate how I went out of my way not to celebrate it, I had a whole chicken that I wanted to roast, but decided to roast it on Friday instead. I didn’t want to be seen as celebrating Thanksgiving.

On waking up on Thanksgiving day, and experiencing what I was experiencing, I decided that from this year forward, I would celebrate it. That day was a major turning point in my life, and I needed to acknowledge it. I roasted my chicken (not turkey), and had my meal. I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, so decided to create some pumpkin custard pies (tarts) instead. I made two, so I could enjoy Thanksgiving dinner again on Saturday. It didn’t last that long, I scoffed it on Friday, and I found that the flavor developed wonderfully after chilling overnight.

The pies (tarts) are absolutely wonderful. The pastry (crust) is buttery, light and extremely thin. The filling is nicely spiced, creamy and delicious. I had to restrain myself from eating two in one go! Can’t wait to make them again!


SPICED PUMPKIN CUSTARD PIES (TARTS)

Makes 2 x 4 inch pies (tarts)


Ingredients

For the crust

  • 55 g (5 ¾ tablespoons) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 28 g (2 tablespoons) good quality unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 10 g (1 ½ tablespoons) icing (confectioners) sugar
  • milk, as required

For the custard

  • 1 large egg, preferably duck egg
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) milk
  • 20 g (3 tablespoons) icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 45 g (3 tablespoons) pumpkin puree
  • ½-1 teaspoon pumpkin spice, dependent on taste


Method

1. Rub cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, and then mix in the sugar and add just enough milk to make the dough come together.

2. Divide dough into two equal sized balls and press each into one 10 cm (4 inch) tart tin. The crust will be very thin, do not worry. Chill for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).

4. Fill each tart tin with a piece of foil and fill with baking beans/weights. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the beans/weights and foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, mix together the custard ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Divide the custard into the par-baked pastry cases (crusts) when they are ready.

6. Bake for 10 minutes or until the custard has just set. The middle should wobble when agitated. Let cool and enjoy!

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