Dear Martha,

ah. Martha Stewart; domestic goddess, powersuit princess, divine CEO of thanksgiving menus. When she is right, she is really right. This year, in hopes of jazzing things up a little, I thought it would be about time to give Martha a call. Sweet potato cheesecakes? classic pumpkin pies? This year called for big, it called for bold, it called for chocolate.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Tart

Of course, like any good lawyer to be, I have to think that I can always do a little better. Martha, you are amazing, but sometimes, I have to just say; agree to disagree. Flaky chocolate crust? Really? With pumpkin? No. Give me something tender and chewy and heavy on the deliciousness. Here is my remix. Making the crust using the same method you would use to bake a batch of cookies gives just the right appeal. It is a little sticky to roll out, but a little powdered sugar on the counter and the rolling pin will make your job easy.

Chocolate Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use dutch-processed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Baking Beads
  • 4 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
Cream together the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy and smooth. Add in the egg and beat together. Sift together other ingredients, reserving the chopped chocolate until later and stir in until mixed. Dust the counter and rolling pin and roll the dough into tart form and place into a 10 inch tart pan. You can use your fingers to push the dough into place and smooth it so it is even.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beads (I know it is hot, careful not to burn yourself!) And add the chopped chocolate pieces. Pour the pumpkin filling on top and return to the oven.

Pumpkin Filling: (from Martha, with some spice fixing, I like it with more punch)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche (I use sour cream, it is cheaper and it tastes fantastic)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate (for later)
  • heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, creme fraiche (or sour cream), eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves until smooth. Pour filling into chocolate crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top wiggles only about the amount of a dime when you take it from the oven. Let it cook on a wire rack and then let it be in the fridge until ready to serve. Then melt the chocolate, adding in the cream until it is at a consistancy you can drizzle, you can use the mircowave or a double boiler but go slowly on the heat, chocolate burns easily. Once the pie is set you can drizle the extra chocolate on top. This recipe also makes 6 mini tarts which are perfect for a party.


Anonymous said...

Competent, touched with just a little arrogance. Like any good lawyer to be.

Anonymous said...

Don't be fooled, confidence is not the same as arrogance. After all, who wants a lawyer who doesn't have enough sense to sound like the know what they are talking about when they do? :)