October 22, 2014

Gingersnap Pumpkin Tarts

The benefits to celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving the second weekend in October while living in Seattle are 1) most likely, all of your friends will be available to spend it with you, which they will enjoy immensely because who doesn't want two Thanksgiving dinners in one year? 2) there is no chance that the grocery store will sell out of Tofurkey, and you can avoid the embarrassment of experiencing a complete meltdown in aisle three 3) the likelihood of getting into a confrontation over the last lb of brussel sprouts is pretty slim 4) if you're well liked, someone will hopefully invite you over to spend American Thanksgiving with them, so you can also enjoy two Thanksgiving dinners 5) and while the rest of the country is getting ready for their Thanksgiving weekend, you can get a head start on decorating your new house Griswold style and hope to heck you don't offend your neighbors. But if your neighbors happen to get offended by the slightly obnoxious amount of lights you have decided to hang and that funny santa reindeer display you impulse bought at Target, you can try to bribe them with boozy fruit cake.

A bottle of gin, or vodka, or bourbon will also do the trick. If you piss off your neighbors into a state of almost-war, any form of booze will do the trick. My neighbors, don't live by this motto. When they decided to completely overhaul and reno their house, I mean, they basically ripped it down to the studs, a simple heads up would have sufficed. Their back yard is basically our backyard. I forgave them, because we had just moved into our house, and for all we knew, they could have warned our previous owners. They had a beautiful butterfly tree. It was 16 feet tall and 16 feet wide. It covered the far left corner of our backyard. It provided shade from the hot morning and afternoon sun. I arranged and planted my garden in a manner that favored shade. So you can understand why I lost my shit after waking up one morning to find out that the gardeners had cut it to the ground. Now, my shade plants are going to crisp up and die. Fine, it's their tree. They can do what they want. But a simple heads up would have been good. Now the tree is gone and we have a direct view into their backyard. Brent is going to start smoking cigars in his underwear on the back porch. revenge.
 
This story does not end here. Just when we thought the drama was over, they went and ripped down our fence. They thought it was theirs, but it was so obviously not. I yelled, they apologized, I felt like a dick. They built us a new fence and then I ordered $200 worth of climbing David Austen roses to be delivered in April to be planted along that new fence. Things have finally settled, and we are no longer feuding. They are actually very nice people. All of this drama could have been avoided if we just would've sat down, drank a lot of gin, and ate pie. Mini pumpkin gingersnap tarts to be exact.
 
This Thanksgiving, and like every Thanksgiving, I made a pumpkin pie. My pumpkin pie is my secret holiday weapon. Even if you're a pumpkin hater, you will love it. It's sweet and fluffy, rich and creamy, with subtle hints of cinnamon and cloves. I've even converted Brent to my pumpkin pie ways, even though when I met him he told me that he would never like it.

After Thanksgiving, I decided to experiment with my pumpkin pie recipe. I wanted to try and make it into mini tart form. I choose little gingersnap tart shells, because gingersnap cookies, and tiny food, amiright? The tart crust came out soft and caramely, almost chewy. It was a perfect combination to the pumpkin filling. It tasted more like candy than pie, when all of the sweet sugars melted together in the oven. You could serve them with a little vanilla ice cream or maybe some whipped cream on the side. Either way, you need to try these tarts. They will blow your mind.


GINGERSNAP PUMPKIN TARTS
makes 12  5" tarts

crust
12 ounces (45) ginger snap cookies
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

filling
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 can evaporated milk




Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a food processor, add the ginger snap cookies, brown sugar, and ground ginger. Pulse until you get a thin crumbly mixture similar to graham crumbs. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until combined.

Evenly divide the ginger crumb into 12 - 5" tart pans. Press the crumbs into the pans with a spoon. Place them onto a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before filling.

In a bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the pumpkin and dry ingredients and combine. Slowly add the evaporated milk and combine. Evenly divide the filling into the 12 tart shells and fill to the top. Place the baking sheet with the tart pans into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove and let cool. Gently remove the tarts from the pan. Some of the sugar may have seeped from the tarts and caramelized on the tart pans making them difficult to remove. Be gentle, and use a knife to lift from the sides. Can be kept in the fridge for 2 days. After 2 days they will become soggy.



29 comments:

  1. I would make these tarts any time of year! They're gorgeous!

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  2. Oh my goodness. These look so, so good. I'm a fan of pumpkin pie in almost any form, but a gingersnap crust is so genius, and the way you described these sounds heavenly -- and of course, I love that they're mini! Boo to neighbor drama but I'm so glad it's all good (rosy??) now!

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  3. I think your experiment was successful!)) Everything sounds and looks great)

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  4. This looks amazing! But, I don't have mini tart pans (or room to store a dozen of them in my apartment) — how would you adapt the recipe for a larger pan, do you think?

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    1. Hi - You can take this recipe and just make it into a pie - using a pie plate. The measurements will be very exact. I actually use the exact filling recipe for my pumpkin pie.

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  5. It's such a shame that we don't have thanksgiving in sweden! It seems like such a nice holiday where the main goal is to be thankful. These pumpkin tarts look delicious and would probably work for any other special occasion!

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    1. I fully encourage you to start a Swedish-Thanksgiving. It sounds incredible.

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  6. Oh the joys of home ownership! Glad things have settled down some. Maybe they'll invite you over for American Thanksgiving...:-). These tarts are amazing. Mini = awesome!

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    1. I will be super excited and shocked if their house is ready for Thanksgiving. Still sounds and looks like a construction site :(

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  7. Gingersnaps + Pumpkin = genius! Love it!

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    1. Your tarts are so beautiful, I think that gingersnaps and pumpkin is such a great combination, very clever!

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  8. These look so good. I love the flavor combination. Pumpkin love.

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  9. Pie sounds lovely! I love a gingersnap crust for a pumkin pie. Sometimes I use butternut squash for the pumpkin and it is delicious! Would love to know which DA roses you bought for the fence. You may have the last revenge as most of them are very thorny! But they are my favorite roses!

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    1. Hi Debbie. I am super excited about these roses, although, did not take the extreme thorniness into consideration. I ordered 2 Evelyn, 1 Claire Austin, and 1 Shropshire. I am very excited about the idea of encasing by backyard in a rose jungle. ps. your pie sounds incredible.

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  10. Ginger and pumpkin is such a perfect combination. I love these little tarts, perfect for autumn.

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  11. I'm sort of like that impulsive hack-happy neighbour you just described, but it's ooooonly because our one neighbour is not garden-inclined and generally gives me the go-ahead with everything I propose. She got a sweet hedge of sedums and Japanese blood grass out of the deal so whatever. My man says I'm still "bad at neighbours."

    Also, we have those Griswold moose cups for eggnog and I love that Canadian Thanksgiving is so early because it means we get to bust them out sooner and say "It's good, it's good" over cups of whatever booze we're onto at the moment. Also, gingersnap crust! You know what's up.

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    1. Laura - I am so jealous of those moose cups!!! I wouldn't be lying if I said I were simultaneously looking for them on ebay while typing this message. I wish my neighbors would give me the go-ahead to do what I want with the landscaping, and then I would hack down the Boston Ivy that is taking over my life. Sedums and blood grass, sounds like you are a pretty amazing neighbor to me.

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  12. Ahh that sucks about your neighbor issues! I would be upset too, especially the ripping down YOUR fence. I think the yelling was justified - no one messes with the neighbor who yells but also makes a mean mini pumpkin pie ;)

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    1. Now if only they knew that I can bake. We probably wouldn't have got into this pickle. No one is mean to a lady who can bake, amiright?

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  13. Mini perfection. Love the flavor combination!
    Sorry to hear about your neighbors... so rude. If it makes you feel any better- one year we were planting trees in our backyard and our neighbor to the left starting taking pictures of us. I was like, what the heck are you doing? He wanted to document it for insurance purposes. Creepy, right? I was a little chuffed to find out that the following day, my dog crapped on his front doorstep. Sweet revenge. Get those cigars ready! ;)

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  14. These tarts are so stunning, and your photography is beautiful! I love all the fall flavors. Pinned!

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  15. (I have never had a slice of pumpkin pie but will have to make yours and fall head over heels in love with it)

    These look so decadent! I have to try to find evaporated milk over here (I've never seen it being sold but most probably I just haven't kept my eyes open) so I can make this mini tart thing happen.

    Good luck with your neighbors!

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  16. Hmmmms. You're making me think here. If your husband claimed to never like pumpkin and then you made these beauties and he did, I'm thinking I need to do the same. Pumpkin is alllrighttt, I guess, but I need further convincing. Cheers to possibly converting someone else!

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  17. I'm in love with these tarts! And I'm all for both drinking lots of gin, and having 2 Thanksgivings in one year.

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  18. Um, what? These look insanely delicious. YUM.

    Lx

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  19. These sound so good! I am going to make them for my work Thanksgiving Potluck! Have you ever made them smaller? like in a mini muffin pan? I'm thinking of going bite size!

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