Master Baker Steve James
One of my favorite fall desserts is a quick and easy Pumpkin Cheese Tart. The filling can be made a day ahead and so can the pre-baked tart shell. Baking time is less than an hour and is best served at room temperature with lightly whipped cream or a caramel garnish.
Makes two 10-inch tarts
1 pound 8 ounces cream cheese
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups pumpkin purée
1/4 cup sour cream
5 whole eggs
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
(See recipe below)
Fresh Baked Pumpkin Purée
1 small pumpkin (1 lb. pumpkin or squash will equal 1 cup of purée)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the pumpkin in half and clean out the seeds and stringy part. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Brush a little melted butter on the cut edges of the pumpkin. Place the sides cut side down on a baking pan. Cook for one hour or until the pumpkin is soft. Cool. Remove the pumpkin skin. Cut into pieces and blend or put through a food processor until the mixture is smooth like canned pumpkin.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
In a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 4 teaspoons ground ginger, 3 teaspoons allspice and store in an airtight container.
Pre-bake a 10-inch tart shell till light brown in color.
Mix the cream cheese and sugar together on low speed of a stand-up mixer and blend until smooth. Scrape the bowl often.
Add the pumpkin purée, the sour cream and eggs, and mix on slow speed.
Finish with heavy cream and blend.
Bake in a pre-baked 10-inch tart shell until set, approximately 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve with a lightly whipped cream and candied pumpkin seeds.