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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
110g butter
1 egg
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
250ml milk
1 cup chopped pumpkin = 1/2 small butternut pumpkin
2 tbsp honey or castor sugar
Seeds of one vanilla bean
3 eggs

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.


21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jueseppi B. #

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    What a way to start the morning…Pumpkin Custard Tart with Caramel crunch Topping…..YummY. Thank You Pease Pudding.

    June 27, 2012
  2. OMG, that tart is amazing! I love the caramel topping. Irresistible.



    June 27, 2012
  3. An under-rated flavour combination – nice, and the crunchy toffee sounds like it would work with it all wonderfully.

    June 27, 2012
  4. I’m with you on pumpkin pie being too sweet for my tooth – this sounds more like my kind of dessert 😉

    June 27, 2012
  5. Looks delicious! I’m saving this recipe for later in the fall when I can get a fresh pumpkin :). Thank you!

    June 27, 2012
  6. Wow, the cracked caramel topping looks so beautiful and inviting! I’ve gotta keep this in mind for when pumpkin season comes around! 😀

    June 27, 2012
  7. Fantastic, i love what you did with the toffee.. I had better go out and water my pumpkin plants!! c

    June 27, 2012
  8. Talk about a showstopper!

    June 27, 2012
  9. Love it! I can’t wait to join you and the rest of the Kiwi food bloggers in August, SO excited!

    I just checked out your interview on The Kitchen Maid, was so nice to learn more about you and of course to see your amazing photography!

    June 28, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Thanks Lydia, it will be exciting to meet so many new faces this year, it’s going to be a great weekend!

      June 28, 2012
  10. This looks absolutely stunning. Brilliant photos! It sounds yummy too! I might just have to make it when it’s pumpkin season here in the U.S.

    June 28, 2012
  11. This Tart really looks delicious, very smart combination of pumpkin with caramel… prefect fall dish!

    June 28, 2012
  12. That toffee crunch looks so good! I could eat that all on its own!

    June 28, 2012
  13. katie #

    That tart is the most gorgeous color.

    June 28, 2012
  14. Very nice specially that crunchy topping twist!

    July 1, 2012
  15. Food Stories #

    What a tasty take on pumpkin 🙂

    July 7, 2012
  16. Pumpkin pie was the last baking I did before the wheat free low carb eating regime started in our house. This reads a like delicious alternative. All I need to do now is crack the pastry options and I might be back in business.

    July 7, 2012
  17. Reblogged this on Finding the Golden Mean and commented:
    This looks AH-MAZING, definitely check it out!

    September 29, 2012
  18. Antigone #

    I just made this with fresh pumpkin from my garden and it is so so delicious!

    This was my first time making a custard tart of any kind and I would just like to clarify one thing for any other newbies because I was a bit unsure. It is okay if the tart jiggles when you take it out of the oven, just as long as it is not liquidy. It will becomes more solid as it cools.

    October 7, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Thanks for the additional note! I’m glad you enjoyed the tart.

      October 7, 2012
  19. Reblogged this on Cynthia Lopez Post.

    October 17, 2012

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