Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pumpkin-Chocolate Tart

Several weeks ago a lady I clean for gave me a copy of Martha's Pumpkin-Chocolate Tart.You know who I am talking about. There is only one Martha, just like there is only one Oprah. Not sure what we were talking about at the time that caused Kate to go in search of the recipe and send me home with a copy of it. The photo from the magazine (which was November of 2003!) shows an amazing looking tart with a chocolate crust and chocolate drizzled over the top. I have had the recipe out on the island in my kitchen since that day. I would pick it up, look at the pictures, think to my self that I really need to make this. Then, put the recipe back down. Kept putting off baking it as I had plenty of other things on my plate keeping me busy.

Until today. :)

Today after I stripped and remade my bed, did two loads of laundry, decorated our Christmas tree, wrapped several gifts, and emptied the dishwasher, feed the hubby lunch, filled the bird feeders and vacuumed the living-room (Christmas tree needles!)  I decided to bake the tart. Thank goodness for the weekends and free time, huh?

I deviated from the recipe in that I used some sweet tart dough I had in the freezer. It was from a Chocolate Pecan Tart I baked last week. That recipe is from "Chocolate Epiphany", by Francois Payard. That tart was a big hit with my hubby and his brother. In fact, I am making another one for my brother-in-law for Christmas. But, I digress. (I do that a lot!) I am supposed to be talking about Martha's Pumpkin-Chocolate Tart.

This was a really simple tart to throw together. Even easier because of the already made dough. I followed the recipe exactly for everything else. Once I baked the crust for the tart I sprinkled chopped dark chocolate over the bottom and when it was melted I spread it around to the edges.

The recipe for the filling calls for creme fraiche. I didn't have any on hand, but do own a copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", and, just as I knew there would be, I found a recipe for making your own creme fraiche. Pretty simple. Mix a cup of whipping cream with a teaspoon of buttermilk. Heat to lukewarm, pour into a loosely capped jar and several hours later you have creme fraiche. Mine didn't get really thick, and I wonder if it was because the buttermilk I used was reconstituted buttermilk, made from powder. Still, it did get a little thicker than it started out being so I used it.

The tart took about 40 minutes to bake, just like the recipe said. I had a bit too much filling for the tart so I poured the extra into two ramekins and baked them along with the tart.(those turned out great, like pumpkin pudding or custard)  I made the tart in a 10" springform pan. I do not own a large tart pan. I have 6 small ones (that's what I used to make my Chocolate Pecan tart) but didn't feel like messing around with 6 tarts, so I just used the springform pan.

Turned out perfect. And, it's delicious! I am sure it is probably that much better in a chocolate crust, but I liked it just the way I  made it. Your first bite is all about the pumpkin filling, smooth, creamy, not too spicy. Then, you realize you are tasting a hint of dark chocolate. It's a wonderful undertone to the pumpkin flavor. And, finishing it off, you have the crust of the tart itself, a little crunchy, buttery, and tender.

When I first mentioned making this tart my hubby's attitude was  "eh".  He is not a pumpkin fan. He will eat pumpkin bread every once in a while. He turns his nose up to  pumpkin pie. This tart? He ate every bite and said, "That was really good." Surprised, like he thought it wouldn't be. Silly man!

Pumpkin-Chocolate Tart
Makes 1 10" tart

1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin puree
3/4 cup finrmly packed light-brown sugar
8 ounces creme fraiche
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (I left this out as I am not a big clove fan)
     Chocolate Crust (recipe follows)
2 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, creme fraiche, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and cloves until smooth. Pass mixture through a fine sieve set over a clean bowl; discard solids. Pour filling into prepared crust.
2. Bake until filling is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 30 minutes.
3. Set a heatproof bowl, or the top of a double boiler, over a pan of barely simmering water. Melt chocolate in bowl, stirring occasionally,  remove from heat. Dip a spoon in melted chocolate, then drizzle chocolate over tart, forming decorative stripes. Refrigerate until well set, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Chocolate Crust
Makes 1 10" tart shell

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
4 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachemnt, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Add butter; mix on low speed until butter is the size of small peas, about 5 minutes. Add egg; mix until ingredients come together to form a dough.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to just thicker than 1/8 inch. Brush off excess flour transfer dough to a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press dough into bottom and up sides of pan;  trim excess flush with edge. Lightly prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Bake shell until firm, about 15 minutes. Immediately sprinkle chocolate over bottom of shell; smooth with a spatula.


  1. This look delicious. I am not a huge pumpkin fan BUT pumpkin with chocolate. Now we're talking!

  2. OMG.... this looks fab-o.

  3. This looks delicious! And extra kudos for making your own creme fraiche in all that "spare time".

  4. Your tart looks amazing! And indeed kudos for making your own creme fraiche! :)

  5. OMW I HAVE to make this. Wow, it looks fantastic.


Please let me know what you think. I love to hear from other bakers.