Pumpkin Tart with Caramelized Apple and Maple Cream

I HAD to do something with the uncarved pumpkin that was sitting on the porch. When I carried it all the way home just before Halloween, I promised myself I would not let it shrivel up and die alone under the snow. So, a few weeks later, here we are, tadaaa!

To make approx 12 small tarts, you will need:

-tart shells lined with sweet dough (I made 8x 8" tart, and 5 baby tarts)
Par bake these tart shells until almost fully baked, slightly golden brown all over, about10-15 mins depending on the thickness. Set aside.

-1 C pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
Cut the pumpkin open, clean out the middle, reserve the seeds for later use, cut into chunks and roast in a 350F oven for about 1 hour or until soft. Once the pumpkin is soft and cool, peel and put in the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment. Add water if the pumpkin is very dry. After 5-10 mins, you should see this:

-1/2 t. natural vanilla extract
-2 egg yolks
-1/4 C brown sugar
-pinch of sea salt
-1/8 t. fresh grated nutmeg
-1/4 t. cinnamon
-1/8 t. cloves, ground
1/4 C all purpose flour
-1T fancy molasses (I used a pear syrup instead)

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Spoon into baked tart shells and level with an offset spatula.

Bake the tarts in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until set.

For the Caramelized apples:
-6 medium apples (gala, fuji, grannysmith, good baking apples...)
-1/4 C butter, unsalted
-1/2 C cinnamon sugar

To caramelize the apples, peel, core and chop your apples into even slices, not to thick, not too thin. Melt some butter in a frying pan or skillet. Add the cinnamon sugar and swirl the pan around until the sugar dissolves and caramel starts to form. Lay your apples down on their side in the pan. Add another layer of sugar, and let the apples cook and get a nice dark golden brown colour. Flip them over, add more sugar, and don't burn yourself in the process, the sugar gets reall (so I warned you). Once the apples are a deep caramel colour, carefuly let them cool.Place the cooled apple slices on top of the cooled tarts. Arrange them like a flower if you like.

To make maple whipped cream, whip about 1 C 35% cream, with 3 T icing sugar, and 1.2t. cinnamon in a cold bowl with cold whisk. Pipe into rosettes on the tarts.

Garnish either with pommegranate seeds, or pumpkin seeds. You can candy the seeds from your pumpkin, which is what I did but I ate them all before I could use them!

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