These mini pumpkin tarts are a delicious offering for your Thanksgiving dessert table! Made with no refined sugar, the creamy custard filling is nestled into a buttery whole wheat shortbread crust, and topped with an airy toasted maple meringue. It’s next-level pumpkin pie!
Hi everyone! Did you all have a good weekend? I am finally home from my whirlwind travel week and so happy to be here. It’s time to nestle in and plan our Thanksgiving menus! I’m talkin’ pie, peeps!
I came up with this recipe alllll the way back in summer. I have to tell you, it felt really strange making pumpkin pie in July. But this is how things work in the magazine world, I guess!
Yes, magazine! These adorable little tarts are part of a 3-pie feature in Delicious Living‘s November issue.
That’s my famous Apple Walnut Tart on the cover. It’s gluten- and dairy-free, but you won’t even notice what’s missing because it’s so bomb. You’ll find the recipe for it, as well as an incredible gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free Mile-High Pear Cranberry Crumb Pie that made my husband weak in the knees. And of course these little cutie-pies too.
But before I give you the lowdown, I just want to introduce you to Delicious Living, just in case you aren’t already familiar. Delicious Living is a print and digital publication. They also have a fabulous website. Their focus is on supporting natural, healthy, and organic living. You can pick up a copy of their magazine at thousands of retail stores, including Whole Foods and Sprouts. They love to encourage people to cook recipes made with all-natural ingredients, and they promote do-it-yourself, from-scratch cooking, so if you like the kinds of recipes I post here on Baking a Moment, you’d probably really enjoy their magazine too! If you’re down, you may even enjoy their newsletter. You can sign up for it here 😉
Now let’s talk tarts! The pumpkin filling here is comfortingly familiar. It’s got all the warm fall spice and creamy pumpkin goodness you and your guests crave, along with wholesome ingredients like eggs and cream. There is no canned milk in this recipe. There is no evaporated milk, no sweetened condensed milk. The sweetness comes from a new-to-me ingredient called “succanat,” which is just a less-processed version of the natural cane sugar I already know and love. I adored the full-bodied, slightly smoky flavor it brought to this dessert, and I have a feeling I’ll be using a lot more of this ingredient in the future! It’s a cup-for-cup substitute for regular sugar as well as coconut sugar, so if you’d prefer to use either of those, you can.
The crust is where it’s at though. It’s super-buttery and tender, made with nutty whole wheat pastry flour, and only has 3 ingredients, + a pinch of salt. I kinda think it makes the whole dish. But that toasted maple meringue is pretty rockin’ too!
Pumpkin Meringue Tarts with Whole Wheat Shortbread Crust
These mini pumpkin tarts are a delicious offering for your Thanksgiving dessert table! Made with no refined sugar, the creamy custard filling is nestled into a buttery whole wheat shortbread crust, and topped with an airy toasted maple meringue. It's next-level pumpkin pie!
Yield: (6) 4 1/2-inch mini tarts
For the Shortbread Crust:
- 2 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ⅓ cup sucanat or coconut sugar
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
- ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
For the Pumpkin Filling:
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (approx. ½ a 7.5 ounce can)
- ½ cup sucanat or coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup heavy cream
For the Maple Meringue:
- 2 egg whites
- a pinch of kosher salt
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
Make the Shortbread Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the flour, sucanat or coconut sugar, and salt in a bowl, and cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press/knead the mixture with your hands until it forms a ball. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions, and press each into the bottom and up the sides of 4 ½-inch mini tart pan.
- Place the mini tart shells on a baking sheet, and fill with Pumpkin Filling.
Make the Pumpkin Filling:
- Place the pumpkin, sucanat or coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves in a bowl and add the eggs. Stir until incorporated. Whisk in the cream, and pour about 3 ½ ounces of filling into each of the 6 tart shells.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges of the tarts are golden and the filling is set. Cool completely, then top with Maple Meringue just before serving.
Make the Maple Meringue:
- Place the egg whites and salt in a large mixing bowl and whip on medium-high speed until the mixture holds soft peaks. With the mixer still running, carefully pour in the maple syrup in a slow, thin stream. Continue to whip until the meringue holds stiff peaks. Divide evenly between the 6 baked and cooled tarts, then toast with a kitchen torch, or in a 400 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes.
The mini-tarts can be made a day or two ahead, but I’d recommend making and toasting the meringue just before serving. That way it’s as tall and fluffy as can be. Plus it’s really cool to pass that torch around and let everyone toast their own tart. So much fun!
Have a great week everyone! xo