PUMPKIN CUSTARD TARTS WITH GINGERBREAD CRUST

Smooth-as-silk pumpkin custard, flavoured with egg nog and a hit of salty bacon, encased in a sweet gingerbread crust. And it fits into our Paleo requirements of low-processed food and high nutrition.

Australian’s think pumpkin is a savoury vegetable (which it kinda is), not the sweet dessert Americans have turned it into. Saying that, these were a big hit this at our recent Christmas lunch in Perth WA and I’m pretty sure I have some converts waiting for the next batch…which I am going to make any time of year.

DIY Pumpkin Pie

The thing that keeps a lot of American ex-pats from making these custard tarts or their parent, the heavenly Pumpkin Pie, is the lack of pumpkin puree by the can that they can easily get at home. Since we at 3TWO1 are trying to minimise the processed food in our lives, this recipe recreates a puree that is healthier and tastier than the ‘store-bought’ version, with a texture that is indistinguishable from canned and creepy puree. So no more excuses, folks. Make it yourself.

5 Steps and a Bonus

This recipe has 5 different steps, things that need to be made to put this together. Think of it as a long, chipper WOD that requires you put one foot in front of the other to ‘get it done’. BUT the results are incredible: A smooth pumpkin tart with the flavours of the holidays in the gingerbread and eggnog, and a surprise salty kick from the bacon garnish. And you get a heap of extra eggnog to drink later.

Win-Win, I say.

INGREDIENTS (by part)

Crust

  • Coconut oil or butter for greasing pie tin or ramekins
  • 4 Tbs Coconut oil or ghee, melted
  • 3 Tbs Molasses or treacle
  • 2 C Almond flour/meal
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt

Custard

  • 1/2 Butternut pumpkin or similar (it doesn’t really matter which variety as they are all pretty similar)
  • 1 C Coconut Milk Eggnog
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ C Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 Tbs Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt

Coconut Egg Nog

  • 3 small cans Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 3 Egg yolks (save the white for making meringues or omelettes)
  • 1/4 C Coconut Sugar

Garnish

  • 6 pcs Bacon strips, fried or baked in oven. I suggest you get a variety with a bit of fat on it for better flavour.

PREPARATION

STEP 1 Fry or bake your bacon. You got this.

STEP 2 Cook your pumpkin.

  • REMOVE any seeds and set aside to dry fry with some salt and pepper for snacks.
  • CUT the raw pumpkin into chunks.
  • PLACE in a large pan, cover with water and place on stove to cook above a med-high heat. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes or until soft.
  • WHILE that is cooking, move on to making the crust.

STEP 3 Make the crust

  • PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees.
  • WHISK together coconut oil/ghee and molasses/ treacle. Mix in almond flour, spices, vanilla extract, and salt.
  • PRESS mixture down into a greased pie pan or the bottom of 6 medium sized ramekins. Evenly distribute mixture throughout the pan/ramekins and press up onto the sides as much as possible (it’s fine if it the crust in the ramekins doesn’t hit the top of the container).

STEP 4 Make the eggnog

  • HEAT coconut milk (medium) and vanilla in a medium saucepan.
  • WHISK the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until light.
  • ADD a small amount of the warm coconut milk mixture to the egg/sugar mix and immediately whisk. Then slowly add this mixture to the warming coconut milk in the pan. Keep whisking the whole time.
  • SLOWLY increase the temperature to a medium high heat and keep whisking. It’s very important NOT to let it come to a boil or you’ll get yucky scrambled eggs. Add the spices and whisk, making sure there are no lumps.
  • REMOVE from heat and store egg nog in fridge for up to 2 weeks (You only need 1 C for this recipe and you’ll make 4+ C, so get ready for drinking some eggnog later).

STEP 5 Make your custard then assemble your tarts

  • IN a food processor or blender, add cooked pumpkin, eggnog, eggs, coconut sugar, vanilla, spices and salt and puree until smooth.
  • POUR mixture into crust lined containers. If you’ve chosen to use ramekins, place a piece of the bacon in it so it sticks up above the custard.
  • PLACE in oven for 55 minutes. Let rest until cool then place in the refrigerator to set for 2+ hours.

SERVE with a warm or cold glass of your egg nog.

Adapted from PaleOMG.com “Eggnog Pumpkin Pie with Gingerbread Crust” and http://www.health-bent.com “Paleo Egg Nog”.

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