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Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Tarts With Maple Glaze

Written by my friend Rico Cunningham

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I wanted to tell you guys about one of my favorite Thanksgiving dinner traditions. Since before I can remember, my mom has baked pumpkin pies for our entire family to enjoy. The thing I love the most about the pumpkin pies she bakes is that they aren't overly sweet like the kind you find from most places. You can actually taste the true flavor of the pumpkin. Maybe it's because I grew up on it, but outside of the ones my mom makes, I have difficulty eating pumpkin pie. Most of them are just too sweet for my liking.

Each year my mom bakes about four to six pies depending on how many of my extended family members decide to visit for the holidays. My family holds a Thanksgiving feast every year at our house in Jacksonville. The rest of the dinner is your garden variety Thanksgiving meal with a turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cornbread and cranberries. While most of my family stuffs their faces on that stuff, I save plenty of room for dessert. After I have my fill of pumpkin pie, I always end up plopping onto the couch and watching some Directtv. Sometimes I even get a second wind and can even grab another slice a few hours later. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts with Maple Glaze by: Joy The Baker

makes 9 tarts

crust recipe from King Arthur Flour

For the Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

1 large egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 large egg (for brushing the dough)

For the Filling:

3/4 cup pureed pumpkin

1 large egg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Maple Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons milk

To prepare the Crust:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and break it up in the flour mixture using your fingers, a pastry cutter or a food processor. There may seem like there’s a ton of butter in your flour. There is. Work it in until only pea sized lumps remain in your mixture. The mixture should also hold together when squeezed into a ball.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Add the mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and stir to make sure that moisture is introduced to all of the flour mixture. Lightly dust a clean counter with flour and knead the dough on the floured counter for a few turns until it really starts to come together. Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. I find that the dough is just a bit easier to work with when it’s chilled.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling:

In a small sauce pan, heat pumpkin puree and spices over medium heat. Just heat through until the spices become fragrant. This helps to bring loads of flavor into the filling. Remove from heat and place spiced pumpkin in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in egg, salt and sugar and place in the fridge to rest while you roll out the dough.

On a well floured work surface, press dough into a 3×5-inch rectangle, roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness. The dough should be slightly larger than 9×12-inches. Trim dough with a pizza cutter, creating a rectangle that is 9-inches tall and 12-inches long. Using the pizza cutter, cut each side into thirds, creating 9 squares. Place dough squares in the fridge while you roll out the second piece of dough in the same way.

Brush one set of 9 squares with beaten egg. This will act as the glue for the top layer of dough. Spoon about one tablespoon of pie filling into the center of each brushed dough square. Top with a piece of dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed. Use the tines of the fork to create vent holes in each tart.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Let tarts rest in the fridge for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.

Remove tarts from the fridge and place in the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

While the tarts bake, whisk together ingredients for the glaze and set aside.

Let baked tarts rest on a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing. Best served within 2 days.

Recipe by: Joy The Baker

Happy Baking ;)

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