- For the tart crusts:
- 1 * 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- * ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- * ¼ tsp salt
- 4 * 4 ½ oz cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and frozen for 20 minutes.
- 2 * 2 large egg yolks
- * ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- For the filling:
- 4 * 4 large egg yolks
- * ½ cup pure maple syrup
- * ½ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
- * ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- * ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- * ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- * ¼ tsp salt
- 1 * 1 cup whipping cream
- * ¼ cup whole milk
- * About ¼ cup Demerara sugar
Make the tart crusts:
Combine the flour, icing sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl lightly whisk the yolks and vanilla together. Dribble the yolk mixture through the processor tube while pulsing until clumps form. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly just to incorporate any dry ingredients that haven’t been mixed in. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
Butter 6 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. On lightly floured surface or on parchment paper, roll the dough into 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into circles a couple inches larger than the tart pans. Carefully transfer the rolled dough into the prepared pans and press the dough onto the bottoms and up the sides of the pans. Cut the excess of the dough. Dock the bottoms of the crusts with a fork and freeze for at least 30 minutes. If you are not planning to bake right away, wrap the crusts tightly and keep in the freezer until needed. Do not defrost before baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the frozen crusts with parchment paper, then with dry beans or pie weights. Bake for about 15 minutes, until set. Carefully remove the parchment and bake the crusts for another 10-12 minutes until light golden. Transfer the crusts in its pans to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature before filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.
Make sure the tart shells are cooled before filling.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks and maple syrup until combined, followed by the pumpkin puree, spices, and salt. Gradually whisk in the cream and milk into the mixture; don’t whip too much air into the custard base. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a liquid measuring cup. Place the cooled tart shells onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat. Divide the custard between the prebaked tart shells filling them just a bit below the rim. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the filling appears softly set at the edges but still jiggles. Watch it baking; a minute too long and the texture will be grainy. Cool the tarts on the pan on a cooling rack. After completely cooled, refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Right before serving, sprinkle the surface of each chilled custard tart with a scant 1 tbsp of Demerara sugar. Blow torch the sugar, following all necessary safety measures. Serve at once.