'Tis the season for all things pumpkin! Pumpkin pie used to be my favorite fall dessert when I was a kid. Although I can no longer say that it's my favorite, no Fall is complete without a slice of pumpkin pie. Or, in this case, a slice of Pumpkin Meringue Tart. <3
My pumpkin pie needs have a 1:1 ratio with a ridiculous amount of whipped cream. That's how I roll. So when I considered pumpkin pie covered with a sizable cloud of meringue, this Pumpkin Meringue Tart was born.
This tart is easier than it looks! The crust comes together in the mixer, and after a little chilling, is ready to be baked. I used a 9" tart pan with removable bottom, like this one [here]. Pie weights help when blind-baking a crust, helping to keep the dough from rising/getting bubbles as it bakes. This makes sure that you have the room that you need for filling. You can buy actual pie weights if you'd like (like these here), but I just use black beans. They're cheap and you can use them over and over again. 🙂
The pumpkin filling mixes up in one bowl. It really doesn't get any easier than that. The tart is just beautiful plain, too, if you want to serve it as-is. The swirled appearance that you see in my "naked" tart pic above is because I FORGOT THE SUGAR, and literally stirred it into the filling after I had already poured it into the crust. *facepalm*
Speaking of sugar, I intentionally limited the sugar in the pumpkin filling knowing that it would be topped with super sweet meringue. If you're not planning to top it with the meringue, you might want to increase the sugar to ½ cup.
Speaking of that gorgeous meringue! If you've never made it before, it might seem a little intimidating. Follow the instructions and it's easy peasy. That said, use actual, fresh egg whites. I tried to use a carton of pasteurized egg whites and the meringue failed. Twice! You will need a candy thermometer to ensure your success! If you don't have one, you can find one [here].
I use a kitchen torch to toast my meringue. If you don't have a torch, you can put the tart under the broiler, just don't take your eyes off it for a second! I prefer the torch, since it gives more control over the toasting. My torch is old so I don't even know what kind it is, but this one (link [here]) has great reviews.
I have so many pumpkin recipes rolling around in my brain that there's no way I can make all of them this Fall. I'll try to not have every single recipe that I share have pumpkin. I make no guarantees, though. 😉
Recipe adapted from Tartelette Blog (link here).
Pumpkin Meringue Tart
Sweet Pastry Crust:
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon water
- In a small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add egg and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
- Add flour mixture and mix until barely combined. Pour the mixture out onto the countertop and gently knead into a ball. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for one hour.
- Grease a 9" tart pan with removable bottom (see note) and set aside.
- After chilling, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to about ¼" thickness and line prepared tart pan. You will have leftover dough (great for making garnish or saving for mini tartlets.) Place the crust in the refrigerator to chill while the oven preheats to 350° F.
- Place the chilled crust on a baking sheet. Line with foil and fill with pie weights (see note). Bake 10 minutes, then remove foil/weights and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Edges of the crust should be golden. Allow crust to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour filling into the baked crust.
- Bake 20-30 minutes, or until the filling is nearly set (it will still wiggle a little in the center when you shake the pan). If overcooked, the filling will crack. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Pour egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Move on to making the sugar syrup.
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to cook until mixture reaches 240° F (see note). At this point, turn the mixer on medium-high speed to start whipping the egg whites. Continue cooking the sugar syrup until it reaches 245° F. (The idea is to have the egg whites whipped to soft peaks at the same time the sugar syrup comes to temperature.)
- With the mixer on low speed, *carefully* drizzle the sugar syrup into the whipped egg whites. Once all the syrup is added, increase the mixer speed to high and whip until cooled. Meringue will be white and fluffy.
- Transfer meringue to a piping bag to pipe on top of the cooled tart, or dollop the meringue on with a spoon. Toast meringue with a torch or under the broiler (see note).Enjoy!