Gingersnap Pumpkin Tarts

Gingersnap Pumpkin Tarts

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.

Mini Heirloom Tomato Tartlets with a Parmesan Crust

Mini Heirloom Tomato Tartlets with a Parmesan Crust

I’m here to share the story of how I fell in love with this tart crust, and the filling - you will see - comes second. You could even go ahead and sub out the tomatoes with mushrooms, olives, potatoes, apple, or tuna - options are always good, but I really encourage you to try this crust, because you might just fall in love like I did. 

Raspberry Tarts with Almond Crust and Creme Patissiere

Oh my gosh. Raspberry tarts are so cute. and so French. I am preparing for a trip this summer. Paris, Prague, Budapest, Istanbul. It will be a whirlwind of sorts. I plan to eat as many pastries as possible and stuff as many copper pots into my suitcase as it can hold. I want to see the sites, drink German beer, eat a pretzel, meet some people, and become deeply inspired. Today I am feeling extremely excited by fresh raspberries, marble pastry boards, and tiny little pastry pans. I drove all over Seattle this morning looking for these cute little pans. First I started in Ballard, a neighborhood close too mine. It saddened me to see that one of my favorite kitchen stores had closed down. In a panic, I drove to the other end of the city to Williams-Sonoma - no luck. Crate and Barrel, also no luck. Finally, my last stop was Mrs. Cooks, and luckily they were well stocked. I was  extremely thrilled.

I've been meaning to make raspberry tarts for quite some time. My only limiting factor, a lack of tiny tart pans. I now have so many ideas. So many recipes flowing thought my head, all the amazing things that I can put in tarts! For this recipe, I choose to experiment with almond flour, because it's delicious and also I have a bag in my fridge that needs to be used. I adapted a recipe from

Nourished Kitchen

, an extremely delicious blog. The crust turned out soft and buttery. Slight sweet. The creme patisserie was rich and creamy. The vanilla beans added a beautiful aromatic taste. I love how the vanilla left tiny black flecks in the creme. The combination of buttery crust, thick cream, and fresh raspberries was delicious, and oh so extremely French.



makes 4 small tarts

recipe adapted from

Nourished Kitchen

notes: pastry cream should be served immediately out of the fridge, or can be stored in the fridge for up to  3 days. 


2 cups almond flour

2 tbsp white granulated sugar

pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter, chilled and cubed

1 egg white


1 vanilla bean, split

1 cup milk, 2% or whole

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp all purpose flour

1/4 cup superfine sugar

2 tbsp heavy cream

- small pint of raspberries, washed and dried

- icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Align four 5-inch tart pans on the counter.

In a food processor, add the almond flour, sugar, salt, butter, and egg white. Pulse until all ingredients are combined and start to stick together, resembling coarse meal.

Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts. Scoop the mixture into the tart shells, pressing down with your hands, and forming up the sides of the shell. You want to create an even layer around the sides, and then press flat on the bottom of the shell. Place the shells into the freezer for 10 minutes.

Place the tart shell directly onto the middle oven rack and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the crust has turned light brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing from the shells.

Split the vanilla bean in half and remove the seeds. Add the seeds, along with the vanilla pod to the milk in a medium saucepan. Bring the milk to a simmer on low to medium heat stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. This will allow the vanilla to infuse the milk.

In a medium bowl add the egg yolks, flour, and sugar. Vigorously stir with a wire whisk until ingredients have become combined. Gradually add the milk mixture, and whisk until combined.

Add the mixture to a saucepan on medium heat. With a wire whisk, stir constantly until the mixture has thickened and started to boil. Remove from heat and strain with a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap by placing it directly on top of the creme's surface. This will prevent a skin from forming on the tops. Refrigerate immediately.

Chill in the refrigerator until cool, one hour or more. Once chilled, remove and whisk in the heavy cream just before serving.

Remove the almond crust from their shells. Fill each tart 3/4 full with the creme. Gently place the raspberries on top with the stem side facing down. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Butter Tarts

During the Christmas holidays, I was fortunate enough to come across the most amazing butter tart in existence, from the Sweet Oven, in Barrie Ontario. It had everything I look for in a butter tart - sticky on top, gooey in the middle, super sweet, and the perfect crust to filling ratio. I am super picky about my butter tarts, as are most Canadians, and this one really lived up to my expectations. After I tried this butter tart, I was convinced that this was going to be the new cupcake.  Eager to jump on the entrepreneurial band wagon, I started experimenting with different recipes. So far, I have made two batches this weekend, and unfortunately, I wasn't quite fond of either. I think it's because my expectations are now to high from my Sweet Oven experience.  I have decided to give up my butter tart career, and stick to blogging. It is much more forgiving on the hips.

inspired by Erica's Edibles

1/2 cup (1 stick) of salted butter, cold
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt

Cut butter into small cubes and chill in the freezer until ready to use. You want the butter to be super cold so you can see the pieces in your pastry when mixed.  When baking, the butter will melt creating tiny pockets in the dough, while the steam will lift the pockets to create flakes.

Mix the sugar and flour in a large bowl.  Mix the frozen chunks of butter into the flour and sugar mixture, making sure you don't over mix.  This can be done with a hand-held pastry blender or pulsed in a food processor.  When the butter cubes are the size of tiny peas, stop mixing.

Gently whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and then add to mixture.  Gently fold the ingredients until the dough comes together, and then knead into a ball.  You do not want to over knead, or you will flatten the butter which will lead to a less flaky pastry. Wrap the dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Remove the dough from the freezer and roll out flat. With a round cookie cutter or the bottom of a glass, cut out small circle shapes. Place the dough rounds into tiny pie tins or a muffin pan. With your fingers, form the dough to the wells. Place the tray into the fridge to stay cool.

Mix butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup with a hand mixed until butter is whipped.  In a separate bowl beat the eggs.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and salt to the mixture and beat until blended.

Fill the pastry shells 3/4 full.  Bake in oven at 400 ºF for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven a let cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan.  I prefer to eat my butter tarts cold.