« October 2023 | Main

November 2023

Easy Elegant Thanksgiving Pumpkin Tart

Easy Elegant Thanksgiving Pumpkin Tart

I tried this recipe from Milk Street last year and it was a big hit at Thanksgiving. Using a tart pan produces an elegant presentation for traditional pumpkin pie. They started with their fuss-free pie dough, made easily in the food processor, and it can be prepped and frozen for up to a month ahead. For their filling, they use canned 100% pumpkin puree, but they intensified the flavor by giving it a quick sauté with dark brown sugar. This simmers off excess moisture and lends caramel flavors to the mixture. The addition of crème fraîche gave the filling tang and richness that other dairy products couldn’t match. Serve with your favorite whipped cream topping.

Download Easy Elegant Thanksgiving Pumpkin Tart recipe

For the pie dough:

3 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (159 grams) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

⅛ teaspoon table salt

10 tablespoons salted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces, chilled

2 tablespoons sour cream

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Microwave until set, 30 to 40 seconds, stirring halfway through. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  1. Once the cornstarch mixture has chilled, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and process until mixed, about 5 seconds. Add the chilled cornstarch mixture and pulse until uniformly ground, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and sour cream and process until the dough comes together and begins to collect around the blade, 20 to 30 seconds. Pat the dough into a 4-inch disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours.
  1. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the middle position. On a well-floured counter, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle.
  1. Hang the dough over the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Gently ease the dough into the pan by lifting the edges while pressing down into the corners of the pan. Trim the edges, leaving a ½-inch overhang, then tuck the overhang under itself so the dough is flush with the rim of the pan. Crimp the dough with your fingers or the tines of a fork, then chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  1. Line the chilled shell with foil and fill with pie weights, then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack until the edges are light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove the foil and weights, then bake until the bottom just begins to color, another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce to 325°F.

For the Pumpkin filling:

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

149 grams (¾ cup packed) dark brown sugar

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

¼ cup bourbon

8 -ounce container (1 cup) crème fraîche

3 large eggs

⅛ teaspoon table salt

  1. While the crust bakes, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, combine the pumpkin, sugar, and pumpkin spice. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened, dark and leaves a film on the pan, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup (the yield should be 1½ cups). Add the bourbon to the skillet, set over medium-low and scrape up any browned bits; add to the pumpkin mixture.
  2. In a food processor, combine the pumpkin-bourbon mixture and crème fraiche; process until smooth. Scrape down the bowl, add the eggs and salt, then process until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour the filling into the warm crust, smoothing the top. Bake on the baking sheet on the middle rack until the edges start to puff and crack and the center sets, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the tart in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Remove the outer metal ring to serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

World's Best Chocolate Layer Cake with Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream

Worlds Best Dark Chocolate Layer Cake

This is probably my most requested cake and after trying it, you'll understand why! It's an easy recipe, but it's worth finding the best Dutch processed cocoa powder. It's terrific with fluffy vanilla buttercream (we call it a tuxedo cake) or for chocolate lovers, go ahead and frost with your favorite Chocolate frosting (or use this recipe - Decadent Chocolate Frosting)

Download Cook Like James Tender and Moist Chocolate Layer Cake Vanilla Buttercream

2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour (Gold Medal or Pillsbury)

1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar

3/4 cups (88.5 g) Valrhona or Droste dark Dutch processed cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (240 g) buttermilk at room temperature

1 cup (236.6 g) brewed coffee (or 1 cup hot water mixed with 2 teaspoons espresso powder)

1/2 cup (100 g) vegetable oil

3 large eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, coffee or hot water, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.

Easy Vanilla Buttercream

20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 ½ cups (10 ounces) Confectioners' sugar

⅛ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add sugar and salt and mix on medium-low speed until most of sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl; add cream and vanilla and whip on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.

Worlds Best Dark Chocolate Layer Cake Slice