With warm spices, vanilla and creamy pumpkin filling, making this pumpkin tart recipe is easier than dealing with pie dough and rolling out a pastry crust. It is just what to serve for your Thanksgiving finale. Make it a day ahead to save time on the big day when your schedule is crazy and the kitchen is busy.
What's special about this pumpkin tart and the crust is that's it's like more like a cookie crust than a pastry crust. It's called a press-in crust, and you create it with your fingers. It's super easy! Let me show you how. Then pour the creamy sweet filling into the pre-baked, gluten-free, grain-free tart crust, bake, cool and enjoy!
Please see the recipe card for quantities. To make this you'll need a 9 ½-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and a food processor.
For the pumpkin tart crust:
- Almond flour: Use almond flour, not almond meal, which is coarser. You want the finer flour.
- Coconut flour: It's adds a natural sweetness and is both gluten and grain-free, plus it works well with the almond flour in baking. Coconut flour is best blended with other flours due to it's high absorbency of liquids.
- Sugar: Light brown sugar or coconut sugar both work. I've tested both.
- Unsalted butter: Salted butter is pretty salty so use unsalted or "sweet" butter for this tart crust. I don't even buy salted butter, because I prefer to control the salt.
For the pumpkin filling:
- Pumpkin purée: Buy pure puree, not pumpkin not pie filling. It has sugar, spices, and additives (like dextrose and "natural" flavors) that you either don't want or can control yourself.
- Cream cheese: You want the block style cream cheese, not tubs. The tubs are whipped and different in texture and the tart filling won't be the same.
- Eggs: Eggs are binders and help create a smooth, rich, custard filling.
- Maple syrup: Be sure to buy the real stuff, not the fake colored corn syrup labeled as maple syrup. I prefer the full flavor of dark maple syrup.
- Vanilla: Use either good vanilla extract or vanilla paste. Here is the vanilla I buy.
- Ground cinnamon: Adds the traditional warm spiced flavor for pumpkin pie and pumpkin tart. I prefer Celyon cinnamon. It has a lighter, sweeter flavor than Cassia cinnamon but both work. Ceylon tends to be better quality (and a little more expensive).
- Spices: You'll need ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. Allspice is a nice addition too. The amounts are small but the flavors are big.
- Sweetener: Flavored liquid stevia in pumpkin spice helps keep the sugar down and add flavor, along with the maple syrup.
Chef's tip: Be sure your spices are fresh for the best flavor. If you've had them since last November, toss them and buy fresh. Ground spices last 6-12 months at best when stored properly in a cool dark place (so not near a hot stove).
- Use pumpkin pie spice blend for the spices in the same total quantity.
- If you're concerned about sugar with maple syrup, you can use part or all maple flavored keto sugar-free syrup made with monk fruit.
Tart Crust Instructions
Mix the almond flour, coconut flour, and sugar together with a fork in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until it looks evenly combined. To test, squeeze a handful together. It should be moist and hold together.
Once the tart crust mix is ready, pour it into the pan and spread it evenly across the bottom. Next, create the crust by pressing with your fingers.
Press dough around the edge of the tart pan first, creating a strong edge. This is important so that the edge holds up when you remove the tart from the pan. See the photo below.
Work to build it up in layers and keep moving around the tart pan. It takes a little time. Keep working it. A nice sturdy edge will give strength to your pumpkin tart when you cut it.
When you have a nice strong edge, pat the rest firmly into the bottom of the tart pan for the base (and don't poke holes). Use your hands or the bottom of a flat glass or metal measuring cup.
Lastly, finish the crust by pre-baking (called blind baking) at an oven temperature of 350°F then cooling on a wire rack. For full recipe, directions and photos see the tart crust post.
Pumpkin Filling Instructions
To create the pumpkin tart filling, simply puree all of the ingredients together in a food processor. Be sure your cream cheese is at room temperature (very soft).
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pre-baked tart crust and bake again on the middle rack of your oven. Cool, chill and serve. The pumpkin filling looks fairly fluid, but it sets up with baking, cooling and refrigerating.
Timing will depend on your oven and whether you use convection or not. I prefer baking this tart without convection if possible.
Convection oven note: If you use convection and it puffs a little, it will settle as it cools. You can bake the tart a day ahead. Any cracks can be covered with whipped cream if desired.
To garnish your pumpkin tart start with whipped cream. Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks with a little vanilla extract and stevia, sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave. For a more keto option, use keto syrup.
For a small amount, use a hand mixed with a whisk attachment. For larger quantities, use a standing mixed with the whisk attachment. Or use what I do, it's called a Thermo-whipper (and get N2O chargers).
Want to dress it up a bit more? Drizzle with a little melted white chocolate and sprinkle with chopped pecans, or pipe whipped cream around the inside edge and drizzle with a little maple syrup. A light dusting of cinnamon is nice too (use a small handheld strainer).
For a tangier topping, try sour cream or crème fraîche (a French-style sour cream) with the vanilla and a little sweetener. Really nice and a bit different because of the tang. You can even whisk this together by hand.
Since homemade doesn't have all of the preservatives that commercially made pies and tarts do, it must be stored in the refrigerator.
Any leftover tart will keep a day or two in the refrigerator well covered. So that you do not mess up the top of the tart, place a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper on top then cover with plastic wrap.
Tart is a French term for a shallow pie, a dessert with short sides and often fluted edges, then filled, but no top crust. The top is open and often covered in fruit, whipped cream, or other decorative garnishes. Tarts can be sweet or savory.
Next time, make the tart crust and fill it with a rich dark chocolate filling. It's delicious and your chocolate lovers will be thrilled. You can also make a savory version and fill it with ricotta cheese and tomatoes.
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Pumpkin Tart Recipe with Gluten Free Crust
- Silpat or similar liner optionals
Tart Crust (see the separate post for directions)
- 1 ½ cups almond flour 5 ½ ounces or 160 grams
- ½ cup organic coconut flour 2 ¼ ounces or 60 grams
- 2 tablespoons raw light brown sugar or raw coconut sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 15 ounce can pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie mix
- 8 ounces package block cream cheese room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg allspice is nice too
- 25-30 drops flavored liquid stevia vanilla creme or pumpkin spice
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- sweetener of choice maple, honey, raw sugar, keto syrup
- Find directions on this link for the crust https://afoodcentriclife.com/almond-coconut-tart-crust/
- Pre-heat oven to 350° (177° C). Ready the pre-baked almond-coconut tart crust, placing it on a rimmed baking sheet with a silpat non-slip liner (optional).
- Puree all ingredients from pumpkin through stevia together in a food processor until smooth. Filling will be fairly fluid. Taste and add more spices or stevia if desired. Pour the pureed pumpkin filling into tart crust. Fill almost to the top but leave an edge of crust showing. You may have extra filling.
- Bake tart for approximately 30 minutes. It should be mostly set and just a little jiggly in the center. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour, then cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to completely set. Slice and serve.
- For garnish, whip cream with vanilla and sweetener to soft peaks. Serve on the side or pipe on top.