Thanksgiving is not only a day to indulge in some yummy food but also a day to save room for dessert. This year along with making the prerequisite pumpkin pie I also made something a little more special, a Pecan Pumpkin Frangipane Tart. (Frangipane is a filling that is made from or flavored with almonds.) I got the recipe two years ago when I attended a cooking demonstration at Williams & Sonoma. I made it for Thanksgiving that year and have wanted to make it again ever since.
First up though… The Pumpkin Pie. I followed a recipe that I got from the Food Network website. This is probably one of the simplest recipes I have seen for pumpkin pie but it turns out one the yummiest ones I have ever tasted. I actually wasn’t a big fan of pumpkin pie until I made this one; I always thought it tasted quite bland. Although, I did cheat a little and bought my pie crust instead of making it from scratch as the recipe calls for. I opted to use the Keebler Ready Crust Graham 2 Extra Servings Pie Crust to make sure that my filling wouldn’t overflow. I used a regular sized pie crust once and quickly learned my lesson. The filling overflowed and I had to spend a considerable amount of time cleaning my oven afterwards. Not fun!
To make the Pecan Pumpkin Frangipane Tart I started off by making my crust. Using a store bought crust for this tart just wouldn’t be the same. Using a food processor I pulsed together the following ingredients: salt, eggs, flour, confectioners’ sugar & butter.
I then formed the dough into a disk and refrigerated it for 2 hours.
Afterwards I rolled out the dough and pressed it into my tart pan and refrigerated it once again. It needs to be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes. I ended up being refrigerating mine for a few hours, but, it had no effect on the final outcome.
To make the frangipane I used sugar, cake flour, eggs, almond paste and butter.
I combined all of these ingredients in my mixer.
Now it was time to assemble the tart.
I started out by spreading Pecan Pumpkin Butter, which I bought from Williams & Sonoma, on the bottom of my dough. Unfortunately this is a seasonal item so it’s only available in the early fall. But, this isn’t the only thing you can use as the base for this tart. You could actually use fruit, jams/jellies, pudding and so forth. The frangipane is what really gives this tart it’s burst of flavor so whatever you use as the base is just a complement to that.
I then spooned the frangipane on top and smoothed it out evenly.
I baked it for about 30 minutes and this was the final product and it was delicious!
Recipe courtesy Joanne Chang
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
7 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
6 1/2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch ground clove
1 egg yolk
Equipment: 9-inch pie pan
Make the Pie Dough: In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and mix to combine. Add the butter and continue mixing until the mixture holds together when you clump it, and there are pecan-sized lumps of butter still visible.
Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and milk in small bowl.
Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap well and store in the refrigerator for several hours. (The dough will keep for several days in the fridge and several weeks in the freezer.)
On a lightly floured work surface, roll half of the dough into a 11 to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Line the pan with the dough and crimp the edges. Chill the pie shell for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the pie shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans. Bake the shell until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and beans.
Meanwhile, make the Filling: Lower the oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, mix together the pumpkin and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reduced and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, milks, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, salt, eggs, and yolk. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake until set, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool and serve
Pecan Pumpkin Frangipane Tart
From Williams & Sonoma
For the Pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
10 tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten with 1 tbs. water
For the Frangipane:
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup firmly packed almond paste
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten with 1 egg white
1/3 cup plus 1 tbs. cake flour
3/4 cup (1/2 jar) Murihead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
To make the pastry, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt and pulse to mix. Add the butter and process in short pulses until pea-size crumbs form, 20 to 25 seconds. While pulsing, add the egg yolk mixture and process to form large, moist crumbs, 10 to 15 seconds more.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Roll out the dough 1⁄8 inch thick, dusting it with confectioners’ sugar if it begins to stick. Transfer the dough round into a 10-inch tart pan and, using your fingers, press the dough into the pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
To make the frangipane, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Add the almond paste and granulated sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. While beating, add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and fold in the cake flour until just blended and no lumps of flour remain.
Spread the pecan pumpkin butter into the chilled tart shell, forming a layer about 1⁄4 inch thick. Spoon the frangipane on top in an even layer. Bake until the tart is golden and set, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the tart cool to room temperature, then remove it from the pan. Dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Makes one 10-inch tart.