3/4-pound unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
For the Pumpkin Filling:
8 ounces softened cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk, warm or at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
For the Whipped Cream:
2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (or more) confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
The Shortbread Crust:Combine the butter, salt, both sugars, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a table top mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. This can also be done with a hand blender and a large mixing bowl.
Beat beginning on low speed until all of the sugar is incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once in between mixing so everything is evenly incorporated.
Add the flour in 2-3 batches mixing on low speed. Beat until a dough begins to form. Some crumbled dough may remain at the bottom of the bowl. This will all come together when the dough is formed into a ball on the counter.
Remove all of the dough from the mixer on a clean work surface (counter) and press it together to form a disk. A ball can be formed first and then press it down with your palm to form the disc.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions.
Press each portion of dough into a 9 and ½ - 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Chill in the freezer at least 1 hour or until the dough is very firm. This can be wrapped in plastic and kept frozen up to 1 month. Chilling it well is required so that the tart keeps its shape during baking.
The Pumpkin Filling:Combine the softened butter, cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and ginger in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until combined and smooth.
Add the egg yolks and beat until combined. Add the pumpkin puree along with the milk and beat until combined. Finish mixing it with a whisk or a spatula (by hand) to make sure everything is mixed well.
Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in the center rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Pierce the tart with a fork all over to release steam and so that it keeps its shape. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until toasted and lightly golden in color.
Note:You can bake both tart shells in the same oven at simultaneously on separate racks just switch their place halfway through baking to cook evenly. (move the bottom tray to the middle and vice versa)
Divide the pumpkin filling equally to fill both baked tart shells.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the filling is set but still has some jiggle to it. Over baking will cause the pie to crack down the center of the filling.
Once the pie comes to room temperature, chill it in the refrigerator (preferably overnight) then carefully remove it from the tart pan.
Set on a serving plate.
To make the whipped cream, combine the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a tabletop mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on low speed until it begins to thicken then on high speed until it thickens to the consistency of yogurt.
Serve the whipped cream alongside the pie in a separate bowl, dollop it onto the center of the pie, or decorate the pie by piping out whipped cream rosettes all around using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
This pie can (and should) be made 1 day ahead of time and kept chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
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