It’s fall, and that means all things pumpkin, including Pumpkin Pie Tarts, with a moist almond flour and walnut base to replace the inflammatory fats in traditional pie crust.
When you live in farm country, the months of harvest can be overwhelming (in a great way). There is so much activity and so much amazing local food to choose from. The farm markets and roadside stands are bursting with produce, families with children of all ages are visiting the corn mazes and harvest festivals and, best of all, pumpkins are everywhere.
Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October, and pumpkin pie has always been a must have Thanksgiving dessert with my family. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two times each year I have made pumpkin pie for decades. Last year I offered up these Pumpkin Pie Tarts to my family at Christmas, instead of traditional pumpkin pie with a flour and shortening/lard crust. They were a big win and nobody missed the pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving dinner, it’s time to meet Pumpkin Pie Tarts.
Since pumpkins are available now, it’s a great time to stock up and prepare for later use throughout the fall and winter months. Look for pumpkins that have a hard, dull rind that can’t be penetrated with a fingernail. A soft rind can be an indication of a watery pumpkin, and a shiny rind can be a sign of immaturity.
Pumpkin can be steamed, roasted, boiled or baked. I prefer to bake or steam it. To bake pumpkin: cut in half or quarters, deseed and bake for 350° for 45-60 minutes, until soft. The seeds can be drizzled with olive oil and baked too! It can also be peeled, cut into small chunks and steamed until soft Puree the cooked pumpkin in a food processor and freeze in 2 cup jars so it’s ready whenever you want to use pumpkin in your cooking or baking.
Nutritional benefits of pumpkin
Pumpkin is a good source of immune boosting and anti-inflammatory vitamins A and C, several B vitamins and minerals; a good source of potassium, copper and manganese; and a good source of dietary fiber to help slow digestion. Like all orange fruit and vegetables, pumpkin is an excellent source of beta carotene. Carotene-rich vegetables such as pumpkin have been shown to be protective against cataracts, atherosclerosis, and some kinds of cancers. Pumpkins have also been researched for anti-diabetic properties.
Let’s get planning our fall harvest meals. Make these Pumpkin Pie Tarts one of your new holiday desserts. The taste will bring back warm memories of pumpkin pie that will nourish the soul, and the healthy ingredients in these tarts will nourish your body.
Pumpkin Pie Tarts
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ½ cup walnuts or pecans
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp water as needed
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin purée
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup hemp milk or other nut/seed milk
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- Heat oven to 350°. Chop walnuts in food processor. Mix walnuts, almond flour, coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl. If crust is too dry to hold together, add a tablespoon of water.
- Add a rounded tablespoon the crust mixture to each of 16 paper-lined muffin tin cups. Press down mixture with fingers to form a crust on the bottom of the paper liners. Put muffin tins in the oven and bake the crusts for 15 minutes.
- While the crusts are baking, combine pumpkin, hemp milk, maple syrup and spices in a bowl. Whisk eggs and add to the pumpkin mixture. Mix well. Pour pumpkin pie mixture evenly into each of the partially baked muffin cups. Return muffin tins to oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove tarts from muffin tin and let cool in paper liners on a cooling rack.