Pumpkin Coconut Tart

File under: Successful Thanksgiving Recipe Tests.

Thanksgiving is exactly two weeks away and there are so many decisions to make and recipes to find!  Each year I try to find a new version of a favorite dish, looking for “the one” that will become a tradition.  Last year’s winning holiday recipe finds were Orangette’s Cream-braised Brussels Sprouts and Bon Appetit’s Bourbon-Walnut Sweet Potato Mash.  They are getting invitations to dinner this year for sure!

I knew this Pumpkin Coconut Tart recipe from EatingWell.com was destined for deliciousness – and possibly even worthy of tradition.   A pumpkin and coconut custard filling in a whole wheat and toasted almond crust!?  Do you realize that’s like – four of my favorite things in a PIE, which is my absolute favorite thing ever!?  (Remember, the title of my yet-to-be-written book is “The Girl Who Loved Pie.”)

Even if I had followed the recipe to the letter, it would’ve come out far less damaging than most of the desserts that typically grace Thanksgiving tables. But of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone and was feeling up for an extra challenge: to reduce the carbohydrate count – and do so without using artificial sweeteners (ie. Splenda).

I’ve previously mentioned my torment over using Splenda and have now decided I am firmly in the anti-Splenda camp.  In addition to its chemical sketchiness, Splenda does a real number on my digestive system and has side effects I’d rather not deal with.

I love that this recipe uses light coconut milk instead of evaporated milk or some other “empty” liquid, void of nutritional value.  If I can add a nutritional boost to my favorite Thanksgiving Day dessert and not sacrifice taste, that is a HUGE WIN!

Below is my adaption of EatingWell’s Pumpkin Coconut Tart and it turned out quite well!  It earned “thumbs up” from my taste testers!  I would be proud to serve it at Thanksgiving dinner.

And I can tell you one more thing:

I had extra tart filling so I baked it into a custard and it is absolutely getting stirred into tomorrow morning’s bowl of oatmeal or oat bran.  That should have me flying out of bed before the alarm even goes off.

Pumpkin Coconut Tart

(adapted from here, on EatingWell.com)

INGREDIENTS

Crust

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see Tip)
1 tablespoon Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Zero (Erythritol) or Sucanat
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons cold reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)

FILLING

1 1/2 cups canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup Sucanat
1/4 cup Organic Zero (Erythritol)
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs + 2 egg whites
1 cup light coconut milk

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 11-inch round or 8-by-12-inch rectangular removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray.
2. To prepare crust: Combine flour, almonds, 1 tablespoon Organic Zero or Sucanat and salt in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely ground. Add butter one piece at a time, and then cream cheese by the tablespoonful, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until incorporated. Turn the dough out into the prepared pan (it will be crumbly), spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and all the way up the sides to form a crust.
3. Bake the crust until set but not browned, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
4. To prepare filling: Beat pumpkin, 1/2 cup Sucanat, 1/4 cup Organic Zero, rum, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in eggs and egg whites, one at a time, until combined. Beat in coconut milk. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and pour in the filling.  (If there is leftover filling, pour it into ramekins and bake them alongside the tart until set.)
5. Bake the tart until the filling is just set (the center may still appear soft, but will become more solid as it cools), 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Serve room temperature or refrigerate until chilled. Remove the pan sides before slicing. Garnish with coconut, if desired.

Tip: Place slivered almonds in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

***

I am still calculating the nutritional values based on the changes I made, but here are the stats for the original recipe.  My version has fewer carbohydrates from reducing the flour in the crust and reducing the sugar in the filling.  It also has a slightly higher protein count from the extra almonds in the crust and the extra egg white.  I will post the update soon!

Per serving: 260 calories; 12 g fat (6 g sat, 3 g mono); 80 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 3g fiber; 168 mg sodium; 163 mg potassium.  

6 Comments on Pumpkin Coconut Tart

  1. Such a cool pumpkin picture! And I agree about Splenda. It hurts my stomach and has a weird chemically after taste.

  2. oh yum yum yum.
    I could eat pumpkin anything all year round. And coconut makes it seem like a vacation. :)
    m

  3. MMM may need to try this! Any photo? I swear food blogs are like food porn sometimes :)

    • I didn’t get a photo in time:( My roommate at the time, who is now gone (praise the Lord), took me a little too literally when I said I wanted her to try it and give me her thoughts. She wacked off like – a FOURTH of the tart and stood in the kitchen and wolfed it down in under two minutes. I am still trying to block this image from my mind. Perhaps it’s best I DON’T have a photo. Hahaha.

  4. ahhh crazy roommates… LOL

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