Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts

After last week's pumpkin bread, I still had some pumpkin left over. Side note, whenever I type pumpkin, I almost always inadvertently add a "g" at the end to create pumpking. I don't know why. It's some sort of nervous tic, I guess.

Moving on! So, I had this extra pumkin(g) that I needed to use up, and lo! What should grace my google reader than this recipe from Joy The Baker? It was something I had never really seen with pumpkin before, so I decided to go for it. I could've baked up some tried and true soft pumpkin cookies but, you know, new! Exciting and new! Exciting and new and... kind of a hassle! Well. Let's just get to it.

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts with Maple Glaze
makes 9 tarts
recipe from Joy The Baker

For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg (for brushing the dough)

For the Filling:
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Maple Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons milk

To prepare the Crust:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt.  Add the cold butter and break it up in the flour mixture using your fingers, a pastry cutter or a food processor.  There may seem like there’s a ton of butter in your flour.  There is.   Work it in until only pea sized lumps remain in your mixture.

The mixture should also hold together when squeezed into a ball.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk.  Add the mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and stir to make sure that moisture is introduced to all of the flour mixture.  Lightly dust a clean counter with flour and knead the dough on the floured counter for a few turns until it really starts to come together.  Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  I find that the dough is just a bit easier to work with when it’s chilled.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling:
In a small sauce pan, heat pumpkin puree and spices over medium heat.  Just heat through until the spices become fragrant.  This helps to bring loads of flavor into the filling.  Remove from heat and place spiced pumpkin in a medium sized bowl.  Whisk in egg, salt and sugar and place in the fridge to rest while you roll out the dough.

On a well floured work surface, press dough into a 3×5-inch rectangle, roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness.  The dough should be slightly larger than 9×12-inches.  Trim dough with a pizza cutter, creating a rectangle that is 9-inches tall and 12-inches long.  Using the pizza cutter, cut each side into thirds, creating 9 squares.  Place dough squares in the fridge while you roll out the second piece of dough in the same way.

Brush one set of 9 squares with beaten egg.  This will act as the glue for the top layer of dough.  Spoon about one tablespoon of pie filling into the center of each brushed dough square.  Top with a piece of dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed.  Use the tines of the fork to create vent holes in each tart.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Let tarts rest in the fridge for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.

Remove tarts from the fridge and place in the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

While the tarts bake, whisk together ingredients for the glaze and set aside.

Let baked tarts rest on a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.  Best served within 2 days.

In pictures:

Here is the flour, sugar and salt mixed in with the butter. I used my hands, as I don't have a pastry cutter or a food processor. But you can bet both of those are on my Christmas list this year!

This is with the egg and milk concoction mixed in. I used a fork to incorporate it all together. It was sticky.

And the dough is ready to go into the fridge.

Meanwhile, I made the pumpkin filling. I'm not sure it's strictly necessary to heat it on the stovetop, though it does smell delicious.

You do not get any photos of the process leading to this point, as it was very messy and included a lot of griping from yours truly. Also, I only ended up with six tarts rather than nine, but I suspect I made them bigger than intended. You know what? I don't have a rolling pin either. So how did I roll these? I covered a can of cooking spray with parchment paper. Creativity!

Here they are all filled and in the oven. I apologize for any blurry photos this time around, the whole process was taking ages and I was not going to be bothered.

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts by
And, out of the oven. The recipe does not mention brushing the tops with the egg, but I did. I suspect there would have been very little browning had I not.

And, the final product. I didn't make the glaze. One, I wasn't sure how much I would've really needed since I only made six tarts and not nine. Two, I didn't have any maple syrup. It tasted good anyway, though I suspect the larger size made me end up with too much crust. The crust to filling ratio was screwy. My fault.

So, these are good. But, I doubt I will ever make them again. Not that I don't enjoy eating them. But they aren't begging for me to eat them, and they were an extreme hassle to make. While not necessarily difficult, it took forever. Hours. I suppose if you just bought some pre-made dough ready to go, it wouldn't be so bad.


  1. Wow. I'm impressed. This is one of those recipes I'd bookmark 'for a rainy day' and never get to because it looks so involved. Double kudos for making this without a food processor or a rolling pin!

    (For the record, if you get a food processor for Christmas, you'll never ever have a need for a pastry cutter. A good FP can do pretty much everything except turn the oven on for you. :) )

  2. Well technically it WAS a rainy day here in LA yesterday! ;) But I really did not expect it to be so involved, I guess. The ingredients themselves are just so basic!

    I'm sure a food processor would be just as useful, but I have a feeling I'd rather use a pastry cutter if it's something small so I could have easy clean up. I am so lazy when it comes to clean up!

  3. I agree on the clean up. That's why my food processor pieces go straight to the top rack of my dishwasher. :) If I have to buy a replacement blade someday, so be it!