Today is my blogiversary! That’s right, it’s been two years since the birth of Sift & Whisk. I’m actually a little bit of a liar. The actual blogiversary is November 7, but it’s Wednesday, so we’re celebrating a bit early. Besides, November 7, 2012 was on a Wednesday, so it kind of works. I went back on Facebook to see if anything else exciting was happening two years ago, but it was just me telling people to go out and vote and also I had a cold, which is weird because I have a cold right now, too. Luckily, my gustatory system was still intact when I made this tart, so I can say with certainty that it is aaaaawesome!
If this tart looks a tad familiar to you, I’d be pretty surprised because that would mean you’ve seen my very first post: this Pumpkin Bourbon Tart. At first I just wanted to make the same recipe again and update the photos, because I hate those photos with a fiery hot passion. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that not only have my photography and styling skills improved in the past two years, but so have my recipe developing skills. And I started remembering all the things that could have been better about the original tart. So now I have a new and improved recipe that you should 100% definitely make for Thanksgiving this year.
I swapped the gingersnap crust for a gingerbread one because it holds its shape better and looks prettier and just tastes really good, too. I used canned pumpkin instead of roasting and pureeing my own because the color and consistency are more, well, consistent. And I took the molasses out of the filling and upped the brown sugar and the bourbon. (Always add more bourbon.) I said to my husband that this is maybe one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, which he found ironic since it’s a riff on my very first post. Man, did I peak on Day One?
So much has happened in the last two years. When I started this blog, I was winding down a home-based bakery business. I loved inventing recipes and taking photos for the web site. Standing inside a tent on a 90-degree day trying to convince random passersby to buy a peanut butter cookie with Chinese 5-Spice and sesame seeds? Not so much. And if I heard one more person tell me they were gluten-free/vegan/on a diet, I was going to scream.
Now I bake for myself and the people I love. Admittedly, some of those people I love are gluten-free/vegan/on a diet, so that stuff will pop up here from time to time. But mostly it’s butter & flour central. But, of course, I wouldn’t still be putting recipes out here into the internet if you guys didn’t keep showing up and reading and sharing and commenting. (Keep doing that! I love to hear from you.) I remember the first time I got over 300 pageviews because of these cupcakes. (Thanks, Reddit!) I totally freaked out. Every day that my traffic grows or I get a comment from someone telling me they liked a recipe or the photos, I’m just like, “Aw, shucks, me?”
I’ve had tons of great experiences over the last two years, like being featured on The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, working with Smuckers and Lindt, and being offered some outside work opportunities for photography and recipe development. I’ve scoured antique stores for props, learned some new things about my camera, and met amazing food bloggers, both virtually and in real life.
My goals for the next year:
- Post more Baking Basics posts (1-2 times per month)
- Continue learning about and improving food photography & styling
- Try more recipes with yeast
And now I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment or Tweet at me (@siftandwhisk) and let me know what you’d like to see more of (or less of!) in the future. A baking technique you want to learn, a recipe you’ve been wanting someone to invent, or just, “Dear god, lady, stop it with the pumpkin already!” (Answer: NO. NEVER.)
- 2½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- ½ cup (175 grams) molasses
- 2 cups (500 grams) pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup (160 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon (10 grams) cornstarch
- 1 cup (240 mL) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1-2 tablespoons roughly chopped candied ginger
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, spices (including fresh ginger), and salt. Sprinkle butter cubes over the top and pulse until they are roughly the size of peas. Drizzle in molasses and pulse until mixture comes together into a ball. Turn out onto plastic wrap, shape into a disc, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Roll dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, then transfer to a 9-inch tart pan. Trim dough so there is a ½-inch overhang, then fold the overhang inward, creating a double thick side. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to trim the top edge of the dough so it is flat. Poke the crust all over the bottom with a fork. Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Press foil, shiny side down, tightly against the crust. Fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes, remove foil and beans, then bake for another 5 minutes uncovered. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, and cornstarch on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add heavy cream, bourbon, salt, and spices and beat until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Pour filling into cooled tart crust. Bake on the baking sheet for 45-55 minutes, until the custard is set (it will still jiggle slightly in the center). Cool completely on a wire rack, the remove tart pan sides. If you like your pie chilled, stick it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Right before serving, sprinkle the outer edges of the tart with chopped candied ginger.
- You will probably have a little extra dough from the trimmings and some extra fillings. You can use them to make mini tarts or simply pour the excess fillings into ramekins and bake the custard. These mini tarts/custards will finish baking slightly earlier than the larger tart.