This drunken pumpkin bourbon tart recipe utilizes the distinctly delicious flavor and color of roasted fresh pie pumpkin. (You can substitute canned pumpkin if nothing else is available.) The custard gets pumped up with bourbon and plenty of spice so that it takes on a beautiful, burnt caramel color and layers of festive flavor. It’s best served cold or at room temperature with a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream.–Holly Herrick
LC Naming Conventions Note
Drunken pumpkin? Punken drumkin? Drumpin punkdrunk? Okay, so maybe “drunken” is something of a misnomer, unless you’re referring to the Thanksgiving cook who’s kicked back one too many bourbons as she bakes to ease her nerves Thanksgiving morning. But really, drunken isn’t what you can expect of guests after dessert, at least not on account of this pie. Unless you think they’ll get tipsy off less than a teaspoon of bourbon, which is tantamount to what each slice contains. “Tipsy,” it would seem, may be more accurate. Or just “merry.” ‘Tis the season, after all.
Drunken Pumpkin Bourbon Tart Recipe
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 3 hours | Serves 8 to 10
- 1 recipe for a single-crust pie crust, refrigerated for at least 30 minutes
- 1 egg wash (just blend 1 egg yolk, a teensy splash of water, and a pinch of salt together)
- 1 pie pumpkin, any size
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- 2. Place the piecrust on a lightly floured work surface and roll the dough outward from its center into a 12-inch circle that’s about 1⁄8-inch thick. Loosely fold the crust into quarters and transfer it to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Delicately unfold the crust and gingerly press it into the pie plate, letting the excess crust hang over the edge of the pie plate. Trim off the excess dough by running your rolling pan over the top of the tart pan. Refrigerate the crust for at least 20 minutes. Line the pie shell with a double layer of foil or parchment paper and fill it with pie weights, old dried beans, or pennies. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights, and brush down the bottom, sides and edges of the tart with egg wash. Return the tart pan to the oven and bake another 10 minutes, or until golden and nearly fully set. Place the tart pan on a cooling rack and set aside.
- 3. While the crust is baking, split the pumpkin in half and remove the pulpy seeds. Turn the pumpkin halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven about 45 minutes, until the flesh is soft to the touch and beginning to implode. (Note: If you bake the pumpkin and tart shell simultaneously, place the pumpkin below the crust.) When the pumpkin is done, remove from the oven and let cool.
- 4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (176°C).
- 5. Scoop 2 cups of the cooled roasted pumpkin flesh from the pumpkin halves and place it in a large bowl. Using a hand-held mixer, blend the pumpkin for 2 minutes on medium speed to attain a smooth consistency. Add the eggs and brown sugar and blend together on medium speed for 1 minute, until fully incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on medium until fluffy, aerated, and fully incorporated.
- 6. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the center oven rack, pull out the rack slightly, then gently pour the custard into the prepared tart shell, leaving a 1⁄4-inch-deep tart border. (Note: If you have a bit of custard left over, pour it into a small oven-proof bowl or ramekin and bake it along with the tart until it’s set. It makes a wonderful midnight custard snack!) Bake the tart for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F (163°C) and continue to bake for about 30 minutes, until the custard has just set and quivers slightly to the touch. Transfer the tart to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for several hours or overnight before slicing and serving.
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Drunken Pumpkin Bourbon Tart Recipe © 2011 Holly Herrick. Photo © 2011 Helene Dujardin. All rights reserved.