Pumpkin Custard Tart with a Caramel Crunch
Well into pumpkin season here in NZ we have been making the most of this local produce but this week, instead of a savoury dish I fancied making something sweet. I have never been a big fan of pumpkin pie, finding them a little too sweet but perhaps I have never experienced a good one.
I had a vision of a pumpkin tart with a brûlée crust, a slightly burnt bitter toffee balancing the creamy sweet pumpkin custard. The only snag was I didn’t have a fancy blow torch gadget but that wasn’t going to stop me was it? I could Portuguese my tart, adding a toffee crisp to the cooked chilled tart afterwards and it worked a dream.
My recommendation for making the tart is add the toffee just before or up to an hour before serving. The toffee once in contact with the tart will eventually start to dissolve. You can make the tart in advance, even the day before and refrigerate. The toffee is easy to make and can be done just before serving which also warms the tart up a little. Before serving, bash the toffee crust with the back of a spoon to crackle the top and make it easier to portion.
This is also my entry to our monthly New Zealand Sweet NZ event hosted by Shirleen over at Sugar & Spice and All Things Nice. Shirleen is also my partner in crime organizing this years Food Bloggers conference in Wellington. Take a look at our schedule, I bet you wish you could join us?
Ingredients – Pastry
180g of flour
50g of icing sugar
Extra butter and flour for lining the tin
Method – Pastry
Preheat oven on ‘bake’ to 170C.
Butter and flour a 24cm – 26cm tart tin
Place the flour, sugar & butter in a bowl and rub the ingredients together with your finger tips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Or use a food processor to whiz them together.
Add the egg and bring dough together into a ball then flatten slightly.
Rest dough in fridge for 20 minutes before rolling out.
Roll out pastry dough thinly to fit tart tin.
Ingredients Pumpkin Custard
1 cup chopped pumpkin = 1/2 small butternut pumpkin
2 tbsp honey or castor sugar
Seeds of one vanilla bean
Method – Pumpkin Custard
Steam or simmer the pumpkin in a pot of water for 10 minutes until soft then drain any liquid away.
Allow pumpkin to cool.
Whizz all the custard ingredients together in a food processor and pour into the tart case.
Place the tart on a lower shelf in your oven to cook the base through.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until tart is firm and started to puff slightly.
Remove from oven and chill completely before adding the toffee crunch.
Ingredients – Toffee Crunch
100g / 1 cup castor sugar
50ml / 1/2 cup water
Method – Toffee Crunch
Place the water and sugar in a small pan over a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
Turn the heat up so the syrup is gently boiling.
Boil the syrup until it starts to turn golden brown, approx 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let it stand for a minute, it will continue to cook and turn a darker brown.
Pour onto the chilled pumpkin custard, you may need a spoon to spread it but work quickly as it will set immediately it cools.
Don’t worry if it is a bit messy, you are going to take the back of a spoon and tap it so the surface cracks and is easier to portion the tart.