mini speculoos pumpkin tarts with candied pepitas

I love all things seasonal, and therefore I love all things pumpkin! I will admit, however, that pumpkin pie can be a bit mundane at times.  I love to spruce it up by adding more textures and flavors, both in the crust as well as toppings. Speculoos (aka Biscoff) cookies make for a much more exciting crust than traditional dough in my opinion- I’m obsessed with their spicy flavor! I also prefer a high crust to filling ratio, so it’s not like you’re just eating a bowl of custard. Candied ginger adds a nice zingy complement to the creamy pumpkin filling, and candied pepitas top these babies off with the perfect crunch! By making them in individual tart shells (mine are technically crème brûlée dishes), everyone gets their own mini pie, and you don’t have to worry about the crust crumbling when trying to remove it from the dish. Just grab a spoon and dig in! I got to bake these with one of my fave bloggers, Camille Styles, when she was in town from my home state of Texas. We had such a blast and now I’m super pumped for all things holiday! If you’re still looking for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert, these tarts would be the perfect addition to your dinner table! Be sure to check out the feature on her blog as well! Enjoy :)

Mini Speculoos Pumpkin Tarts with Candied Pepitas:

Crust:

  • 12 oz. Speculoos or Biscoff cookies

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt   

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted  

Pie: 

  • 1 can pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

  • 1/4 cup cane sugar

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup candied pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for topping

  • 1/2 cup candied ginger, for topping

  • whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°. Process cookies in food processor until fully crumbled. Add coconut oil and pulse until well combined, then spread the mixture evenly among the tart shells, making sure to push some up the sides as well. It should be nice and thick! Place tarts shells on a baking sheet, then bake for about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine pumpkin, both sugars, spices, and salt, and cook for about 5 minutes until thick and smooth. Remove from heat, and add coconut milk and eggs, whisking until fully incorporated. Allow mixture to cool for a few minutes. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared tart shells. Bake at 350° for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely on wire rack. Top with candied pepitas and ginger, and serve with whipped cream. Enjoy immediately or chilled.

*To make this dairy-free, sub coconut oil for the butter in the crust, and serve with whipped coconut cream.

All photos by Kristen Kilpatrick for Camille Styles. Check out the feature and recipe on her site as well!

 * This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, it won’t cost you a penny more, but I’ll earn a small commission. This allows me to continue to generate content for you, and helps keep the site up and running. Thanks for your support! 


plum & almond tart

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There are so many things I love about summer. The sunshine, beach getaways, and carefree attitudes are all great, but one of my favorite things about late summer in particular is stone fruit. Plums, peaches, apricots, and more are all at their peak ripeness at this time, and you can find them all over the farmers market here in NYC. While they taste super sweet and juicy all on their own, stone fruits can lend themselves to a seriously delicious dessert as well. I love halving them (to show off their beautiful colors) and baking them up in a tasty, yet simple tart. I've used some nice hearty plums here, but feel free to substitute whichever stone fruit you please!   

Plum & Almond Tart:

Filling:

  • 10 plums, halved and pitted
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or almond extract)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • whipped cream or ice cream, for serving

Pastry:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled & cubed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • iced water, if necessary
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Marinate the plums in the Cointreau with 2 tbsp sugar for at least two hours, preferably overnight. For the pastry, mix the butter into the flour in a mixing bowl with your hands (or use a food processor) until it's a course, crumbly mixture. Add the egg yolk, sugar, and salt, and mix until the dough comes together into a ball. Add a bit of iced water if the dough seems to dry and crumbly. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour. You can make this ahead of time, or if you're in a hurry, use a store-bought pastry dough.

Coarsely grate the pastry into a 9-inch tart shell, and spread it out with your fingers. This method gives the pastry a rustic, flaky texture. Chill the prepared tart shell for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F, and prick the tart's base with a fork. Cover with parchment paper, weigh it down with dried beans, and par-bake for 15 minutes.

Whisk butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and any juices from the plums until mixture is well combined. Stir in almond meal and flour, careful not to over-mix. Pour this into tart shell and push plums in, cut-side up. Reduce temperature to 300 F, and bake for about 1 hour. Cover with foil if edges start to brown too quickly. Allow to cool, then serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. 

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key lime pie

I'll be the first to admit, I've never been a key lime pie person. There are very few desserts that I don't love, but key lime pie, along with lemon meringue pie and flan, have never been at the top of my list for whatever reason. I would just typically choose something chocolate, caramel, nutty, or spiced over a citrus-based dessert. Not one to hold a bias, I decided to whip one up for a good friend (who happens to love it!) for her birthday! I can safely say after making one myself, that I thoroughly enjoyed this pie. I love a graham cracker crust, and I personally think toasted coconut is a wonderful addition to almost any dessert. It ends up complementing the fresh, tropical flavors in this pie perfectly. Because I was transporting this pie into the city for dinner, I baked it in a disposable pie dish. But it ended up looking so bright and pretty that I really wish I baked it in one of my pretty ceramic pie dishes! Next time ;)

Key Lime Pie:

Crust:

  • 10-12 full graham crackers (or about 1.5 cups crushed graham crackers)
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 12 key limes or 4 regular limes)

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine graham crackers, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor, and pulse until combined. Pour in coconut oil, and pulse a few more times until mixture is uniformly crumbly and moist. Press crust mix into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9-inch pie dish. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set on cooling rack while you prepare filling. 

Zest limes into the bottom of a medium bowl until you have 2 tablespoons (reserving a bit for topping). Beat zest and egg yolks in a stand mixer (or use an electric hand-held one) until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until well incorporated, about 3 minutes more. Whisk lime juice into yolk mixture until combined. Pour into graham crust and bake pie for another 10-12 minutes, until center is just set. Let pie cool completely before adding topping.

In a medium bowl of stand mixer, beat cream and sugar until soft peaks are formed. Spread over top of chilled pie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and extra lime zest. If possbile, chill pie for another 2-3 hours so that topping can fully set. Slice and enjoy! Pie will stay fresh in the fridge for 5-7 days.

*Adapted from key lime pie by Smitten Kitchen

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gingersnap chocolate cream pie with bourbon pecan crumble

 

I wanted to bake a festive dessert for our holiday dinner this year, but one that would also please most everyone at the table. Chocolate naturally came to mind, and this gingersnap chocolate cream pie with bourbon pecan crumble by Kale & Caramel was a true winner. Even better, it's all vegan, and most of my family couldn't even tell! The crust is made from gingersnaps and coconut oil, while the chocolate cream filling is thickened with chia seeds. And those candied bourbon pecans? Make extra because you'll want to put them on everything! A decadent pie that you can feel good about indulging in- what could be better?! Head on over to Lily's site for the recipe.

 

raw chocolate raspberry tart

I love how beautiful this tart is- it looks so complicated, but in reality, it's quite simple. Just rich and creamy chocolate ganache, a coconut and nut crust, and fresh raspberries! It's full of healthy, raw ingredients, but still tastes super decadent! I get a ton of inspiration from Oh, Ladycakes. There are tons of delicious recipes on her blog, and this is one of them! I prefer to top mine with Fine & Raw Chocolate, which was started in my local neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and is SO addicting. You can't go wrong with any of their flavors- sea salt, coconut chunky, or lucuma & vanilla are all faves!

Raw Chocolate Raspberry Tart:

Crust:

  • 1 cup raw coconut flour
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tbsp raw almond milk (preferably homemade)

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (or maple syrup, raw agave)

Topping:

  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • Fine & Raw chocolate bar, chopped

Line the bottom of a 9″ tart pan with parchment paper and rub with coconut oil. Pulse the flour, almonds, and salt in a food processor until crumbly. Add the dates and pulse until combined, then add the almond milk, pulsing until the dough gets sticky. Press dough into the prepared tart pan and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together cacao powder, coconut oil, and honey until well combined. Once fully incorporated, pour mixture evenly into tart shell. Top with raspberries and chocolate pieces, then transfer to the refrigerator to set for 2-3 hours. Enjoy! Makes 8-12 slices.

*Adapted from No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Tart by Oh, Ladycakes.

Photo by Zoltan Tombor