Can’t choose between apple or pumpkin pie? How about both? Chef Jody Adams works the autumnal favorites into one tasty tart for your dessert table. The chef, who donates her pastry skills to Community Servings’ Pie in the Sky fundraiser each year, shares a recipe from her cookbook, In the Hands of a Chef, below. A take on the traditional Norman tart, Adams’ confection substitutes pumpkin custard for almond cream in a pastry shell that can be made sweet or savory. No tart tin in sight? You can also make the dessert as a 10-inch pie—just add a few baking minutes to the final product. Some other tips from the pro? Be sure to use cold butter for the dough and don’t overwork it. On the flip side, let your filling ingredients come to room temperature to make sure the custard blends together. Most of all, enjoy.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, chilled
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar (for sweet pastry dough)
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized piece and chilled
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 2 large baking apples, such as Macoun
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 cups pumpkin purée
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Italian amaretti macaroons, roughly crumbled
- Whipped cream or premium vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Pour the flour into a mound on a countertop. Add the salt (and sugar, if you’re making sweet pastry) and toss well.
- Work the butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the butter is in small pea-size pieces. Add the water, 2 tablespoons at a time, tossing with your fingers to incorporate the water into the dough until the dough is crumbly.
- Form the dough into a mound and then, using the heel of your hand, push the dough away from you, flattening out the lumps. Continue until all the dough is flat. Form the dough into a mound and repeat the process one more time. Do not work the butter completely into the mixture to keep the crust flaky.
- Shape the dough into a cake, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the dough on a floured pastry board, countertop, or plastic pastry sheet and roll it out to the desired size and shape. Be sure to roll the dough to an even thickness.
- Carefully fold the dough in quarters, transfer to the pie plate or tart pan with a removable bottom and unfold. Ease the dough into the corners of the pan. Pull the dough up over the edge of the pie plate or tin so it hangs over by about 1 inch, then roll it to rest just over the edge and crimp the edge decoratively. (The dough will shrink a bit as it bakes so this slight overhang will help it from falling to the bottom.)
- Put the crust into the fridge for at least 30 minutes or the freezer for 15 minutes. Chilling will help to keep the dough from shrinking.
- Cover the dough with baker’s parchment or foil and then fill the plate with weights so the covering presses down on the raw dough. You can use uncooked beans, rice, ball bearings, loose change or marble-shaped ceramic pie weights designed specifically for this purpose.
- Bake for 15 minutes in the center of the oven. After 15 minutes carefully remove the foil and weights. If the edges of the crust have already started to brown cover them with foil. Continue baking until the crust is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let the crust cool on a wire rack.
- Peel and core the apples, then cut them into slices 1/8-inch thick. Toss the apple slices in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the melted butter.
- Beat the eggs and brown sugar together in a large bowl until the sugar is completely dissolved and the eggs are foamy. Add the pumpkin, cream, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, the ground ginger, allspice, pepper, the grated ginger, the remaining tablespoon lemon juice, salt and vanilla. Beat together until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the pumpkin custard into the tart shell. Starting at the outside of the tart, arrange the apple slices in overlapping rings, covering the shell. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake until the custard is set and the apples are tender and caramelized on top, about 1 hour. Discretely lift an apple near the center of the tart and insert a knife into the pumpkin custard. The knife should emerge moist, but clean, when the custard is set. You can broil the tart briefly if the apples haven’t caramelized enough.
- Cool on a wire rack. When cool remove the sides of the tart tin. Just before serving, sprinkle with amaretti crumbs. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.