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 two 3) the likelihood of getting into a confrontation over the last lb of Brussel sprouts is pretty slim 4) and while the rest of the country is getting ready for American Thanksgiving, 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 fruitcake.
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 of gingersnap cookies, and tiny food, am I right? The tart crust came out soft and caramel, 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
12 ounces (45) gingersnap cookies
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
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 of 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.