Are you having a deja vu moment looking at these mini pumpkin pie tarts? They are heavily inspired by my another holiday creation: saffron and cashew cream-filled pistachio baskets. This holiday season if you plan to buy pies from your favorite store, you want to make sure that it doesn't contain TRANS FAT--a life-threatening ingredient. You may want to look for pies, cookies, and other holiday treats that do not contain margarine . If you are planning to make it at home, nothing is easier and faster than making these mini pumpkin pie tarts infused with pumpkin pie spice. You can also make these ahead of time and put it together in minutes just before the holiday get together. This is a also a great comforting dessert not just for the holidays, but also for harsh, cold winter nights. Last but not the least, even without any processed sugar or saturated fat, although these tarts taste like a comforting dessert, they are more like an energy ball.
Small (but consistent) changes bring in big results
Trans fats kill, slowly. These man-made fats, also called hydrogenated fats, are super bad for your heart as they promote increase in the LDL (the bad kind of cholesterol) and decrease in the HDL (the good cholesterol). I will cover this in detail in a separate blog post, but for this holiday season you may want to protect your heart by saying NO to trans fats. If margarine is listed in the ingredient list, the baked good contains trans fat.
If you are making the pumpkin pie at home, you don't need to waddle in a pool of butter (any other type of saturated fat) or any processed sugar to get a yummy pumpkin dessert. Try this mini pumpkin pie tart; it's so easy that after making this you will have enough energy and time to cook other Thanksgiving dishes. You might also be interested in healthy and tasty:
Let's make the mini pumpkin pie (no bake, no processed sugar)
STEP 1: start out by making the base by processing all the base ingredients (see the recipe). Divide the dough in ten equal parts (one recipe)and roll between palms to make a ball. Press the ball in a small tart mold. EXPERT TIP: To prevent the dough from sticking to the mold, form a perpendicular cross with a two wax (or parchment) paper strips in the middle of the mold. Shape the dough and lift the paper strips. Use one set of strips to make all the tarts. How easy is that? You can also march ahead without the mold. Be creative and mold the balls into bowl or basket shape by hand.
Step 2: After you have finished making the tarts, store them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for at least 10-15 minutes.
STEP3: to make the filling, I have used the store-bought Farmer's Market brand (no affiliation) organic pumpkin in carton.
The secret to making this pie filling creamy is the addition of multipurpose almond whipped cream, which is also used as a topping. You can, however, also replace almond whipped cream with soaked almonds (see the recipe).
STEP 4: Fill the tarts with pumpkin pie filling and top with toasted pecans or almonds. I usually don't toast the nuts, but toasted pecan takes this pie to the next level.
Make ahead Recipe
You can make the tart base and pumpkin filling and store them separately for up to three days in refrigerator. It is super easy to put these mini pumpkin pie tarts together in minutes a few minutes or hours before serving. Just a reminder about the serving size. Nuts are a high energy (fat) food and if consumed in excess can create an omega 3 and omega 6 imbalance, which can lead to inflammation (more on this later). Therefore, enjoy one serving on one occasion.
Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts (no bake)
For the mini tarts
- 1/2 cup oat flour* (gluten free, or sub with regular)
- 1/2 cup almond meal** (or flour)
- 4 medjool dates (or any other variety)
- 2 tsp almond butter***
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (can replace with 2 extra dates + 2 tbsp water)
- 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice****
For the pumpkin filling
- 1/2 cup pumpkin filling
- 1/4 cup homemade almond whipped cream*****
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 medjool dates
- 2 tbsp water (warm)
- 1/4 cup homemade almond whipped cream
- 10 pecans (toasted, or sub with almonds)
To make the mini tarts
- Process oat flour, almond meal, pumpkin pie spice, and dates in a food processor till the dates and flours have mixed well together. Add all the other ingredients and process till the mixture comes together in a dough-like consistency.
- Take the mixture out on a flat surface and knead till it becomes a homogenous mass. Divide the dough in 10 equal parts and form balls.
- Line a small tart mold with two thin strips of wax (or parchment) paper and press each ball in the mold to form a tart. Repeat with all the ten balls. It takes only 5-6 minutes to mold all the tarts. The tart pan is not necessary, you can also mold each ball by hand into a bowl or basket shape. Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container for at least 15 minutes before adding the filling.
To make the pumpkin pie filling
- Before you start making the tart, warm two tbsp of water and soak the dates (listed in the filling ingredients). Add soaked dates with the other (pie filling) ingredients to a blender and blend till well mixed. If using soaked almonds to make the pie filling, rinse the soaked almonds and add to the filling with 2 tbsp of water.
- To serve, fill the tarts with the pumpkin cream (divided into 10 parts). Top with either toasted pecan or almond and homemade whipped almond cream. Enjoy!
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