Labor of Love

Pumpkin Pie "Tarts" with Buttermik Frosting

By Dawn Finicane, Vanilla Sugar Blog November 23, 2010

Baking with kids.

Just those three words alone are enough to scare you. But in reality, it’s not so bad. The only downside is the potential mess it can create.  Who wants to clean that up?  Take a few minutes to plan ahead and decide what role your little ones will play.  It will show them that they are a big part of the process  and can be quite easy and fun.

Pumpkin Tarts are easily a creation children will love to make.  Let’s give kids, no lets show them that there are healthier versions of their favorite snack foods.  The more you involve your child in baking and cooking, the more they will learn how to eat healthier as they age.  Plus you can discuss the benefits of making your own foods rather than relying on frozen foods or take-out.   Pumpkin tarts are healthier than the chemically-laden boxed version.  Even if your child is not a pumpkin fan, I can guarantee they will enjoy these. The pumpkin filling is spiced up just right, even for the pickiest of palates.

Here are a few quick and easy tips to integrate your kids in the baking process: 

  • Prepare the dough ahead of time, you can then keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Take five minutes and make an area in the kitchen, near your workspace, for your child to work in.  This will ensure your child feels like he/she is part of the process. 
  • Set up little paper cups to put spices in, measuring spoons, measuring cups, a big bowl for mixing, etc…your kids can be in charge of measuring out the spices for you—this alone will keep them busy for a while.  The harder things like breaking eggs, pouring the milk and grating the butter can be left to you.
  • Crimping the edges of the pop tarts is something your child can easily do with you.
  • Leaving the last but the best part for your child - the pouring of the buttermilk glaze - will ensure they will want to try them.  Kids love to decorate with glazes and frostings - another artistic medium. 

If it’s the last step of the baking process and if your child gets impatient, just remind them that the next step is eating them!

The inspiration for this recipe came from Joy the Baker.

For more details on how to create this recipe please visit Vanilla Sugar Blog.

Pumpkin Pie Yarts with buttermilk glaze:

For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, kept cold, (use a cheese grater)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg, beaten (for brushing the dough)

For the Filling:
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1 large egg AND 1 large egg yolk
1 ts cornstarch
1 ts cinnamon
A couple dashes of pumpkin pie seasoning
1/4 ts salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Buttermilk Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 (plus or minus depending on thick or thin you want glaze) cup buttermilk
Dash or 3 of cinnamon
Dash or 2 of sea salt

For the crust:
I like to use a cheese grater on my butter, keep it in the freezer until ready to use. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together. In a food processor, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add in the cold butter, pulse until you have nice crumbles. Pulse in the beaten egg with milk until just mixed—no overmixing! Lightly dust a clean counter with flour and knead the dough on the floured counter for a few turns until it really starts to come together. Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling:

In a bowl mix all of the ingredients, well. Store in fridge till ready to use.

This next part is where you need to pay attention.  Prepare pans (2 – 3 pans) by lining with parchment paper, set aside.  On a well floured work surface, press dough into a 3x5-inch rectangle, roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. The dough should be slightly larger than 9x12-inches. Trim dough with a pizza cutter, creating a rectangle that is 9-inches tall and 12-inches long. Using the pizza cutter, cut each side into thirds, creating 9 squares. Place dough squares in the fridge while you roll out the second piece of dough in the same way.

Brush one set of 9 squares with beaten egg. This will act as the glue for the top layer of dough. Spoon about one tablespoon of pie filling into the center of each brushed dough square. Top with a piece of dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed. Use the tines of the fork to create vent holes in each tart. Place the pan in the fridge to let it get firm again; you don’t want to bake these with warm dough, they won’t crisp up. Keep in fridge at least 30 minutes. When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the tops and edges are nice and golden brown. Cool tarts on wire racks. You can let them cool before glazing or not, I didn’t wait. But if you glaze them straight away, you do need to let the glaze harden before serving.

For the buttermilk glaze:
Make sure to sift the powdered sugar, you don’t want any lumps in the glaze. Mix all the glaze
ingredients really well and apply with a spoon over the racks.

Let glaze dry on the tarts before devouring.