I make sweets for a living and as is probably no surprise, I really go to town on Thanksgiving. Yet despite the fact that no thanksgiving dessert spread is complete without a traditional pumpkin pie, I won’t lie: it is not my favorite (sorry, haters). Pumpkin, I love, just not in pie form. Now lest you think me some kind of holiday scrooge, never fear: I always make a pumpkin dessert, be it pumpkin mousse or a pumpkin chiffon pie in a gingersnap crust. And this year, the pumpkin chocolate tart from my new book, "The Vintage Baker," will be gracing the table. Chocolate and pumpkin are a wonderful (dare I say, neglected) combo. The deep cocoa flavor of the cookie crust pairs beautifully - in color and taste - with the lightly spiced pumpkin filling. A drizzle of dark chocolate and some cool cinnamon whipped cream is the perfect finish. Like all the recipes in my book, this one came from a vintage recipe booklet that I twisted and tweaked for you, the 21st century baker.
For the crust:
6 oz crisp chocolate wafer cookies
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
2 eggs Pumpkin Chocolate Tart with Cinnamon Whipped Cream by: Jessie Sheehan
1 1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
10 oz pumpkin purée
1⁄2 tsp table salt
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
Rounded 1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg
For the Chocolate Drizzle:
2 oz dark chocolate, melted
For the Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
3 cups heavy cream, chilled
1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°F
For the crust, place the wafers and granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until finely ground. Add the melted butter and process until combined. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-in [23-cm] tart pan with a removable bottom and, using your fingers, press the crumbs evenly on the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Place the pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days, tightly covered in plastic wrap.
Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, until dry to the touch and slightly puffy.
For the filling, in a large bowl, add the cream, eggs, and vanilla and whisk to combine. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown and granulated sugars, pumpkin purée, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture bubbles and sputters. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for another 5 minutes.
Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the egg mixture, a little at a time so it does not curdle the eggs. If lumpy, strain the mixture through a wire mesh sieve, and transfer to the prepared tart pan. Do not fill the tart past the edge of the crust.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Begin checking the tart at 15 minutes; it is ready when the center just jiggles the tiniest bit. Let cool completely on a wire rack on the counter before placing it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
For the chocolate drizzle, place the melted chocolate in a zippered plastic bag, cut a very tiny hole in the corner of the bag, and drizzle the chocolate over the tart. Let harden before serving.
For the whipped cream, place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium to medium-high speed until the cream begins to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and continue whisking until medium peaks form.
Serve slices of tart topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
The tart will keep, tightly covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.