What would fall and Thanksgiving be without pumpkin? They decorate our porches, hold savory soups, and make charming, autumnal centerpieces. We bake them, turning their moist, healthy goodness into muffins, breads, cupcakes and pies.
So how about an elegant tart with a dark chocolate crust, and more chocolate drizzled over the top?
Or as I discovered in what turned out to be a happy accident over Thanksgiving (when my drizzle went awry)…that spreading a melted layer of chocolate over the entire top is positively, absolutely delicious! And was frankly the hit of the dessert table. =)
This gluten-free tart combines the sweet, creamy texture of chocolate and pumpkin with a crisp cookie-like crust. The crust supports a filling that is light, and closer to a custard or flan, than a traditional pumpkin pie. So don’t think you’ve done something wrong if it’s not as dense and doesn’t set up as firmly.
And for those with egg or dairy allergies, this tart can be made without either one of those!
So let’s begin with the crust, shall we?
- *1 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder OR cacao powder
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter or unsalted vegan butter
- 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg whites or 1/4 cup **egg replacement
- 2 Tablespoons milk (of your choice)
- 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 9" tart pan or pie dish (if you prefer)
Measure and mix almond flour, cocoa powder and whisk with a fork. Add the coconut oil and (with a fork), work the oil/butter through the flour/cocoa powder until there are no more big clumps. Add the egg or egg replacement (if using an egg replacement make sure to prepare it before adding it to the other ingredients) and once more work it through. Then press this mixture into tart pan evenly over the bottom only. Pierce the bottom with a fork and place in the oven on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
While it is cooling, slowly melt the chocolate and 2 Tablespoons milk in a saucepan on the stove, stirring constantly until it is creamy and smooth. Then pour over the prepared crust and spread across the bottom with a spatula (like frosting the top of a cake). Pop it into the freezer for 10 - 15 minutes while you prepare the filling.
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
- ***2/3 - 3/4 cup coconut sugar (Sucanat or organic cane sugar)
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 2 Tablespoons arrowroot, tapioca flour or gluten-free cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 3/4 - 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (to make the drizzle or coat the entire top)
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk (your choice - also for the drizzle or top)
Measure and mix (by hand or with a standing mixer) the filling ingredients which include: pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin spice, arrowroot, baking soda, sea salt and coconut milk. Pour over the top of the chocolate-bottomed crust. Smooth and bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool then refrigerate for at least an hour before gently removing from the tart pan and cutting. Or serve directly from the pie pan.
If you wish to add the chocolate drizzle or cover the entire top, slowly melt the dark or semi-sweet chocolate and milk in a sauce pan on top of the stove. Stir constantly and then drizzle or spread over the top of the whole pie, or slice (as you prefer).
* If you don't have almond flour, you may substitute it with almond meal or finely ground almonds. There will be a slight difference in the texture, but it won't affect the taste. OR you may also use (crushed) gluten-free graham crackers or another gluten-free cookie.
** An egg alternative may be made by mixing 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds or ground Flax seeds and 3 Tablespoons hot water and allowing to sit until it forms a thick gel.
*** Some people prefer to use less sugar so I have given, what my testers felt, was the least amount of sugar to be used and still achieve the best dessert flavor. But please, feel free to adjust it to your own tastes.
A note about Pumpkin: A half a cup is only 41 calories, has less than 1 gram of fat, and contains over 300% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A. Rich in beta-carotene (which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties), it protects the body's cells from damage and is important for both your eyesight and your heart. (Unfortunately, taking beta-carotene in supplement form does not offer the same benefits.)
Gluten-free Wednesdays - glutenfreehomemaker.com