Pumpkin Pecan Pear Tarts Arrow


If the whole pumpkin ‘Feature Creature’ seems like too much of a mangle: this simple recipe for quick (fairly easy) Pumpkin Pecan Pear Tart (s) adds festivity and proper nutrition to any holiday meal...


Pumpkin Pecan Pear Tart


Pumpkin Filling (for two 5-7 inch diameter tarts):

1 can of unsweetened (no preservatives) pumpkin puree

1 cup ‘Stevia In The Raw’ (dehydrated zero calorie sweetener)

1/4 cup Brown Rice Syrup (Lundberg Farms ‘Sweet Dreams’)

1 full shot of spiced rum

1/2 tablespoon powdered cinnamon; 1/2 tablespoon allspice

1 tablespoon vanilla powder (a substitute is 1 tablespoon liquid vanilla extract)

1-2 tablespoons Tapioca Starch (this can be substituted with corn starch:  if using

fresh raw fruit, 2 tablespoons is appropriate; for dried fruit 1 tablespoon is adequate.)     


Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl: make sure the tapioca or corn starch is evenly distributed.


Topping (for two 5-7 inch diameter tarts):

About four dozen shelled pecan halves (chopped pecans can be used as a substitute)

Two whole ripe pears (or peaches, apples, etc.)


Place the pecans into a small bowl and drizzle 1/4 cup brown rice syrup over the pecans and lightly stir until the pecans are coated.


Peel and cut two ripe pears: start by cutting the pear (at both ends) to flush, then cut the whole pear (s) into quarters; slice the center of each quarter from top to bottom to remove the seeds and core. Slice the cored and peeled pears* into the shape desired (cubes, slices, chunks, mulch: the best one can do); place the pear rendering into a small bowl and drizzle (coat: lightly stir) with 1/4 brown rice syrup. 


(*Peaches, apples, raisins, cranberries, blackberries or even prunes can all be choices to substitute pears: if using dried fruit, it is best to soak the dried fruit with at least one cup of distilled boiling water for about five minutes before straining the water off). 


Cover all three bowls with paper towel lids while the pastry (tart crust is prepared).


Healthy CRUST (for two 5-7 inch diameter tarts):

3 cups ‘Pastry’ Spring Wheat (non-bleached, non-bromated, non-fortified: premium white—not hard red winter—wheat: Arrowhead Mills or Bob’s Redmill are two popular brands; a substitute would be brown rice flour).

1 cup very finely chopped pecans

2 tablespoons peanut (or grape seed) oil

1/2 teaspoon baking (bicarbonate) soda

1/2 cup distilled water

1 tablespoon raw cocoa butter


Put the flour, chopped pecans and baking soda into a medium sized mixing bowl and stir the dry ingredients well; drizzle one tablespoon of the peanut (or grape seed) oil over the dry mixture; use a fork to blend the oil into as much of the dry ingredients as possible, then start adding tablespoon amounts of the distilled water to work (fork and stir) the mixture into a dough ball. 


After putting on vinyl gloves, drizzle 1 teaspoon of the peanut (or grape seed) oil onto the “rough” dough ball and then pick it up and knead it lightly; divide the dough bowl into two equal sized balls. Drizzle the dough balls with the other (remaining) teaspoon of oil.



Tart Supplies



Cover a tortilla press (image above) with plastic wrap to fit over both sides (and center) of the press. (The tortilla press expedites the process versus pastry board alone but the crust can be prepared (sans press) with only a rolling pin and pastry board or smooth counter top.)


Cover a pastry board or counter top with enough plastic wrap to manage a 5-7 inch diameter crust: the plastic wrap piece must be large enough to cover the entire bottom surface and also large enough to fold (1/2 of it) over the top of the dough once the dough is placed onto the surface (of the pastry board or smooth counter top).


Using a fine spraying sanitary bottle: spray the entire topside of the plastic wrap (on the tortilla press) with distilled water; place one of the dough balls on the interior bottom surface of the tortilla press. Spray the top of the dough ball with distilled water: fold the (wet) plastic wrap on the smashing side of the press over the dough ball. And SMACK IT! with the lid handle of the tortilla press.


Open the tortilla press and peel back the top portion of the plastic wrap: gently pick up the round dough piece and place it on the wet plastic covered surface of a pastry board (or smooth counter top). Spray the dough round with another light mist of distilled water.


Pastry Rolling Pin


Fold one end of the wet plastic wrap over the dough round: use a (imaged above) rolling pin (over the top of the outer dry side of the plastic wrap then covering the dough round) to roll the dough out to a smoother (less thick but not too thin: about a 24th of an inch thick) full 7 inch diameter.


Pull back the top piece of plastic wrap: place one of the tart pans (imaged above) over the top of dough round; use a knife to cut a circle at least 1/2 inch away from the outer circumference (round edge) of the tart pan (dish/plate/container).


Using a pair of scissors: cut a length of unbleached  baking paper that will fit all the way around the circumference of the pie pan (plate/dish/container) when folded in half twice; fold the length (about 16 inches) of unbleached baking paper over into a half and then fold it over to a half again... Smoothly cut—round—off the outer (loose or not solid) edges of the unbleached baking paper to make a small round “doily” as a liner* for the tart pan (container/plate/dish).


*This crust is suitable for “to go” travels: if using a baking paper liner or purchasing pastry tart doilies, the pie plate (pan/container/dish) can be set aside (or left at home) and the tart can be removed intact. If choosing to use store ready paper tart doilies, it’s best to lightly coat the interior of the tart pan (plate/dish/container) with a paper towel moistened with (no more than a teaspoon of) grape seed or peanut oil. 


Place the prepared (or purchased) paper doily inside the tart pan (plate/dish/baking container): with the hands still wearing the vinyl gloves, gently pick up the prepared dough round and sit it down (on top of the paper) inside the tart dish; lightly “finger flute” the edges while shaking the tart dish to encourage the dough round to sink into the tart pan (dish/container/plate) without too much force.


Repeat the process for the second pastry dough round: after both the tart dishes (pans/plates/containers) are prepared with the raw dough, place the tarts onto baking (“cookie”) sheet and then into a preheated 350 (Fahrenheit) degree oven for about 5 minutes.


Remove the tarts from the oven: while still warm or hot, gently rub the top circumference (top outer edge) of the crust (s) with the one tablespoon (distributed between two tart crusts) of raw cocoa butter; allow the “blanched” and cocoa butter coated crust to cool for at least 5 minutes.


Fill the blanched tart crusts with the prepared pumpkin puree: add the brown rice syrup coated pecans in a circle around the top of the pumpkin filling inside the tart crust; place the brown rice syrup coated pears (or other fruit) into an attractive formation over the center of the pumpkin filling. Drizzle any remaining brown rice syrup from the nut and fruit bowls over the top interior filling of the tart crust (s).


Place the tarts back onto a baking (cooking) sheet and into the preheated 350 degree oven to bake approximately 45 minutes; if it seems necessary—after baking for about 30 minutes—a piece of aluminum foil can be placed over the top of the tarts to prevent the top of the crust from scorching). 


Each whole (5-7 inch diameter) tart contains about (a total) 700 calories: one tart serves two substantial (large pieces) and supplies 350 calories of excellent fiber, electrolyte, utilizable protein nutrition without any cardiovascular or other damage (s); the flavor is amazing and the texture is delightful!


The presentation is certainly worth the preparation effort for holiday festivities: once the “work” station is prepared, fixing more than two tarts is even easier! Just keep doubling the recipe to increase to the number of tarts desired.


[Again: these tarts can be removed from the actual baking dish (pan/pie plate/tart container) because of the paper doily under the crust and almost no cleaning of the baking dishes is necessary if using the baking paper (doilies); very inexpensive disposable/recyclable aluminum tart baking pans can be purchased at many stores if porcelain or ceramic baking dishes are not afforded as available. Image below: healthy crust (s) layered with lemon tapioca glace and fresh blueberries.]


Healthy Crust (s) layered with lemon tapioca glace and fresh blueberries


If opting to do more than only two tarts: a fine suggestion is to open a nice bottle (Barefoot Chardonnay—hints of vanilla, pear, peach—is an excellent tart fixing choice) of wine and enjoy spending the time at the kitchen for celebration...


December 8th 2015: TYF   


Two Pumpkin Pecan Pear Tarts


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