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Halloween Pumpkin Tartlets

November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Tartlets

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  In honor of the year’s best holiday, I made little pumpkin tartlets with jack o’ lantern faces.  The filling is a typical pumpkin pie flavor and consistency, and the crust is a flakey tart dough with a hint of fall spices.  These were inspired by Martha but I made some changes to conform with my own favorite recipes.

I always think its important to play tart dough off of the filling – in other words, don’t just always use the same plain dough.  The two should be connected somehow.  It should either have similar flavors (without being matchy-matchy), such as cloves and ginger in the filling and allspice and nutmeg in the dough; or they should be very different, but complementing flavors, such as lavender in the dough, with lemon raspberry filling.

Sorry for the iPhone quality photo.  And try not to overcook the faces like I did!

Pumpkin Tartlet



For crust:
2 cups 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
2 large egg
4 tablespoons vodka frozen
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
All-purpose flour, for work surface

For filling:
1 can (15 ounces) solid-packed pumpkin
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place dry crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Add cold butter and pulse until the texture of cornmeal. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until blended into one large ball of dough. Split dough into three portions. Place each portion on plastic wrap, flatten to a disc and wrap. Place dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Place one disk of dough on a lightly floured work surface; roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out three 7-inch rounds, gathering scraps and rerolling dough once if needed. Fit rounds into three 4 3/4-inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms. Trim dough flush with tops. Refrigerate on baking sheets 30 minutes. Gently pierce bottom with a fork. Repeat with second and third disk of dough to make 9 tartlets. Combine remaining dough and wrap as before and place dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk pumpkin, 1 cup cream, whole eggs, honey, sugar, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Divide among tart shells so each one is 3/4 full. Bake tarts on baking sheets until edges are golden brown and filling has set, about 30 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Keep oven on.
  5. Roll out remaining dough to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  6. Using a paring knife, cut out jack-o-lantern features from the chilled dough; transfer cutouts to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill in freezer 15 minutes. Whisk yolk and remaining 2 tablespoons cream in a small bowl. Brush cutouts with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 9 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Arrange cutouts on top of cooled tarts, and serve.
One Comment leave one →
  1. April 8, 2011 6:44 pm

    YUM! I don’t like pumpkin pie but these are amazing. Even my little niece ate one and she’s not a huge fan of pumpkin. Maybe next time I will attempt the jack-o-lantern on the top…haha, baby steps…

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