This quintessential autumn treat is beloved by everyone for obvious reasons. It’s creamy, rich and spiced with a cool crew of spices. For this recipe, I used my classic short crust recipe and by adding a touch of bourbon to the filling and syrup, I gave the pie an instant upgrade that I find perfect. To give it even more personality, I used a butane torch to caramelize the top, creating an exquisite crunch. If you don’t own a butane torch, simply skip this part, as this tart comes served with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of maple and bourbon syrup that will ensure a show-stopping pie either way.
To make the crust, add the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture and pulse a few times, until just combined and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice-cold milk and mix briefly, about five seconds, or until a soft dough starts to form. Transfer the dough on a floured working surface and shape it into a thick disk. Dust with flour on top and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and set an oven rack in the middle position.
Roll the dough to a thin round, approximately 13 inches (32 centimeters). Lay the dough loosely into a nine-and-a-half-inch (24-centimeter) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press firmly against the pan so the finished edge is slightly higher than the pan. Trim the excess using a knife and freeze for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place pie weights (or dried beans) on top of the Short Crust to prevent it from rising. Bake the short crust for 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown slightly. Leave the crust in the pan to cool completely.
To make the filling, add the milk to a saucepan and reserve three tablespoons (45 milliliters) of it in a cup. Add the cooking cream, sugar and salt to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Mix the reserved milk with the cornstarch until well dissolved.
Add the cornstarch mixture to the boiling milk and cream, and cook on low for seven to eight minutes, stirring continuously so it doesn’t stick to the pan, until thickened. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and cook for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the maple syrup and whiskey. Mix until well combined. Pour the hot filling into the pre-baked short crust and let cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, prepare the garnishes. In a small bowl with a pouring spout, mix the maple syrup and bourbon whiskey. Set aside.
Blot the top of the Pumpkin Filling dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the caster/superfine sugar all around the surface, then, using a butane torch, heat the sugar until melted and caramelized.
Slice the pumpkin tart and plate on serving plates: add a dollop of whipped cream on the side of each slice, and top with the maple and bourbon syrup. Sprinkle with a dash of ground nutmeg and enjoy! Keep the pumpkin tart refrigerated, for up to five days, in an airtight container.
Reprinted with permission from New Vegan Baking by Ana Rusu. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023. Photo credit: Ana Rusu. Purchase on Amazon.