Here is my take on pumpkin pie in the form of a rich and creamy pumpkin tart. This pumpkin tart filling is adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, enriched with whipped cream cheese. It is baked into a tart dough crust, but you can also use it in place of any pumpkin pie filling in a standard 9-inch blind-baked pie crust. I like this tart slightly chilled. The chai whipped cream topping is simple and celebratory; be sure to prepare it in advance.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade inserted. Combine the egg and water and add it to the flour mixture. Pulse until a dough comes together roughly, about 12 pulses.
Dump the mass of dough onto the counter top. Use a dough knife to collect the dough into a mound, then use your palm to press the dough away from you. Fold it over and repeat 3 to 4 more times until it comes together.
Shape the dough gently into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to use. Or, you can freeze this dough for up to 1 month.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured counter top into a circle 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough into the tart pan, fitting it into the bottom and pressing it gently into the sides. Trim the excess dough and neaten the edge with your fingers. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tea bags and cinnamon stick, cover and remove from the heat. Steep the cream for 15 minutes, then discard the tea bags and cinnamon stick. Chill well, about 2 hours or overnight.
Whip the cream in a stand mixer or by hand until it thickens, then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Continue whipping until soft peaks form. Taste for sweetness and chill until ready to serve with the pie.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the rack in top third of the oven. Prick the prepared, chilled tart dough with a fork, line it with a piece of aluminum foil and weight it with dry beans or pie weights. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove the weights and foil. Continue baking until lightly browned, about 4 minutes more and transfer to a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the pumpkin, sugar and eggs until well blended. Add the cream cheese, heavy cream, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg and cloves and beat well. Stir in the bourbon, if using.
Pour the filling into the tart crust and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Bake until the filling is set all the way to the center and a knife comes out clean, about 40 minutes more. Transfer to the cooling rack, lift off the outer ring and cool completely before serving with the whipped cream.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry