Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sugar High Fridays (SHF) #48 Spice—Pumpkin Chai Tart

Pumpkin Chai Tart baked in the lid of a canning jarIt's pumpkin pie season here, and Thanksgiving weekend just ended in Canada. My 9-year old daughter loves pumpkin pie, so, together we spent an afternoon making pie crust and pumpkin pie filling. She's my buddy in the kitchen, always wanting to help stir or break an egg or taste the batter. And she has an amazing set of taste buds that can differentiate the subtleties of bitter or sour, dark chocolates, and Dutch-processed versus natural cocoa powder. She's my taste tester, and I look forward to many more hours spent in the kitchen with her as she grows up.

For this pumpkin pie, I wanted to add a couple of my favorite flavors: chai tea and coconut. Masala chai is a tea that's infused with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves and ginger. At the grocery store, I found some Maple Sugar made in Quebec so I used it instead of regular sugar. For extra spice, I added some ground ginger to the crust. All these spices and flavors blended nicely with the pumpkin and made a special pie for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkins at the Byward MarketPlaying Around
I bought some wide mouth canning jars awhile ago thinking they were so pretty and hoped to do some canning this year. But, instead of canning, I used the lids as removable bottom tart pans. They worked great. Just make sure you put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet for baking.


Ingredients for Pumpkin Chai TartMakes 8 individual or 1 9-inch tart

Note: The filling makes more than you need for the crust. Either double the crust or half the filling.

1 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 egg yolk
7 ounces unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces

15 ounces pure pumpkin
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1/8 cup coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 chai teabag
¾ cup maple sugar (or 1 tablespoon maple syrup plus 11 tablespoons sugar)
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs

For the crust: Mound the flour, sugar, salt, and ginger on the counter. Make a well and pour the milk and egg yolk in. Start to mix this up with your fingers. Start adding the butter and work it together until it forms a ball. Gather it into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours or up to 2 days before rolling and baking.

Note that this dough is tricky to roll out since there's so much butter in it, but it is so tender and crispy that it's worth the extra effort.

Roll out dough between two sheets of wax paper until 1/8-inch thick. Transfer dough to pie dish. Crimp dough edge decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line crust with foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Bake until golden brown. Place aluminum foil collar around edge of crust if it browns too quickly, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

For the filling: Preheat oven to 325˚F. Heat the heavy cream, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, cloves, ginger, and chai teabag until it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat, and stir in the sugar and salt. Let this mixture steep for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Strain the cream mixture into a bowl. Slowly whisk in the eggs, tempering them so that the eggs don't curdle. Pour mixture into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour for a 9-inch tart and 30 minutes for individual tarts. Cool to room temperature.

Pumpkin Chai Tart baked in the lid of a canning jarSugar High Fridays

Sugar High FridaysThis is my submission to Sugar High Fridays, a dessert-focused food-blogging event created by Jennifer from The Domestic Goddess. This month's event is hosted by Anita from Dessert First and the theme is spice.

Pumpkin Chai Tart

For this pumpkin pie, I wanted to add a couple ...

See Pumpkin Chai Tart on Key Ingredient.


Anonymous said...

Oh they look divine! I'm so excited that it's pumpkin season.

Megan said...

Your speaking my language with those pumpkins! And how smart to use those lids. Genius I say. and Chia spice? YUM! Maple sugar? YUM!
I'm still kicking myself that I didn't buy any maple butter when I was up there in the summer.

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious! The flavors sound like they go so well together.

Lynne said...

What a great idea and a creative use of kitchen ware! These look great.

amycaseycooks said...

I love the idea of using the lids for the tarts. I have never found a small tart pan that I liked.

vibi said...

Shari, you never cease to amaze me! The lid trick is simply brilliant!

Now, I realise we both have nine years old daughters a.k.a kitchen elves! ...though mine is incredible with flair, miles away she can detect and analyse smells like noone I know! Aren't we lucky to have such followers, uhhhh... disciples!!! LOL

Pumkin, coconut, maple sirup sounds divine... and I truly wonder what Chai Tea must bring to the flavor!

Great concoction!

Flourchild said...

Yum..what great looking pies..I LOVE chai tea..I mean seriously Im addicted to the stuff..I have one about every day! Im going to try this recipe..pie and chai..yum!

Elle said...

I'd have about 3 of those in one sitting, honestly. They look so adorable! And I love the idea of using the lids for tart pans--you're a genius!

Anonymous said...

what a great idea...i never would have thought of that :)

La Bella Cooks said...

I love that pumpkins are making their appearance this time of year and these little treats remind me I need to get moving towards these little divine tarts. What a creative idea with the chai!

Audrey said...

What a great idea to use the lids! And I agree that the combination of chai and pumpkin sounds great(just probably not in a latte...)
They're beautiful.

Zoe Francois said...

This looks incredible and sounds even better. I adore chai and never thought to pair it with pumpkin. Excellent idea!

Manggy said...

Hah! That is too clever! Why didn't I think of that? ;) Maple just brings out the best in everything. Would love to have one of those for breakfast right now!

Anonymous said...

This looks so good! I'm looking forward to pumpkin pie in the near future!

Leslie said...

ohh..I love the twist you put on the pumpkin pie!!
And I love that your daughter is your kitchen helper..what a great way to build a lifetime of memories!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am so in your debt for that canning lid-tip!! I've been thinking about buying those individual tart pans, but I have so many canning lids around, that's so much more economical. Thank you!

Cathy said...

Ooooh! Pumpkin pie is one of my favorites anyway, but I believe that I would like it even better with your creative modifications! The tarts are just darling. I bet your little helper has as much fun as you do!

Anonymous said...

Those look delicious! What pretty pumpkins!

Helene said...

What a great combo! Well done again Shari!

Anonymous said...

Delicious tart! I love chai but never thought to add that flavor to pumpkin! Perfect for fall.

TeaLady said...

Is there any sweet that you can't add chai spice to. I don't think so. Love the mini tarts made in the jar lids. Hooray multi tasking!!! What a great idea. These look great. I have to try this recipe. Yummy!!

PheMom said...

Wonderful! OK, so when I totally have to copy your idea because I always have a ton of lids around, I promise to nod at your genius! As for your little pies - you are a genius there too!!

Gretchen Noelle said...

These look delicious! Ehat a great idea to use the lids!

cookworm said...

Brilliant idea with the lids! I really love it.

Shari said...

eb - Pumpkin season is fun! I love seeing fields of pumpkins around Ottawa and watching the guys working the field toss the pumpkins to each other and onto the truck.

megan - I can send you some maple butter if you want. Just email me your address!

erin - Chai and pumpkin were a perfect fit.

lynne - They did work great!

eat! - The lids may not be as deep as commercial versions, but they work!

vibi - Isn't it fun to have helpers in the kitchen? Sometimes, my 9-year-old gets a little bored (especially if there's a photo shoot), but usually it's fun. She loves making pastry!

flourchild - Have you made your own chai tea latte? I was addicted to that for awhile!

elle - Thanks!

mysweetestday - They work great! I can see using different sizes for variety.

bridgett - Pumpkin season is upon us!

audrey - Pumpkin chai latte sounds good to me! :)

zoe francois - They go nicely together!

manggy - Breakfast, lunch, and supper!

madam chow - I'm sure we'll see lots of pumpkin pies in the next few weeks!

leslie - It's fun to share kitchen time together!

caviar and codfish - Hope it works for you too!

cathy - She loves to make the pastry. She'll never love cleaning up afterwards though, but who does?!

candy - Thanks!

tartelette - Thanks for dropping by!

hillary - Hope you give it a try!

tealady - I love chai in lots of things: creme brulee, pudding, cheesecake!

phemom - Glad you liked it!

gretchen noelle - My pastry had a lot of butter in it that melted out a bit, but it still tasted wonderful! Our home had a bit of a baked butter smell for awhile though, which wasn't all bad.

cookworm - Thanks!


thecelticcookinshanghai said...

I still can't see beyond pumpkin as a vegetable, as a sweet it just seems so wrong. But maybe as I now live in US and Thanksgiving is almost here I should give it another try.

thecelticcookinshanghai said...

Trying so hard now I'm livingin US to like pumpkin pie, still seems so wrong to eat pumpkin as a sweet dish. Roasted with some honey and or brown sugar is how I like it, or as soup. Maybe I should keep trying. I'll start by cooking your version.

Peggy said...

This is the first time I've ever made a pumpkin pie and I'm telling you, this is great. I enjoyed every minute of the experience! Thanks, check out my blog!

Wendy said...

Fan flipping tastic! I cannot wait to try this. I've made chai oatmeal, but this is just brilliant. Luckily Canadian Thanksgiving is way earlier than American Thanksgiving so I've got plenty of time to make this for our celebration.

Oh ya, and canning lids as tart pans... absolute genius!

Funny about your daughter and taste. My 10 year old is like that with smells. She once told me that the room spray I'd used (natural stuff with clove in it) smelled like Coke. After careful consideration we all had to agree with her. I'll have to get her on kitchen detail.

Anyway, glad to have found you.

Anonymous said...

Great content. I came across this recipe when doing a review on a Williams-Sonoma Pastry Shell recipe. There are so many recipes for pastry shells out there... it's interesting to see what everyone is doing!