Thanksgiving dinner for fifteen guests doesn’t have me rattled at all. What has me rattled (and M.I.A.) of late is cleaning up the house for fifteen guests. Before you think I live in a home that could be featured on Hoarders, let me clarify. It’s not a secret that Lane was married before he met me, and Lane still lives in the house that he once lived in with his ex-wife. Over time stuff accumulates, even when one party moves out and takes stuff with them. Even with just Lane and two kids, there was a lot of stuff . Then I moved in, and despite having pared down considerably, I have stuff. So all of this stuff had to go somewhere. I’m also not a fan of the “throw it all in the basement! Bury it all under a bed! Company’s coming!” mentality, so the only option was to really sort it out, clean it up and pare down. This project started as us having the idea that we’d use the now-empty living room as a sorting area for things we want to donate or relocate to elsewhere in the house and we decided we wouldn’t hurry to empty the living room until after the holidays. Then we decided to invite fifteen people over for Thanksgiving.
Lane works at a real job (with an office and everything) all day while I work from home (typically in my slippers, at my leisure) so it was really on me to get the house together. To be fair Lane has handled all matters concerning paint, vehicle maintenance, lawn maintenance, building and moving furniture and organizing the basement, so I’m not alone in this. Lane also listens to me screech about how much stuff there is, and how no one needs this much stuff, and how we need to get rid of stuff. He’s a champ- other men might have tossed me out into that foot of snow that fell last week. Even though the house isn’t completely done- we have to decide what to put on the walls, pick out some curtains, and decide once and for all on some furniture items, it feels like home. We’re really looking forward to opening our home to our families and friends, and we’re thankful for them. After all, if they weren’t coming, I’d still have a living room full of
junk things to sort.
As part of the cleanup, I’ve found old photos and such. One of the things I found was a memory card, with a picture of this pumpkin tart on it. When I made the tart, it was for Thanksgiving dinner with my mother last year. We decided we’d had enough of regular pumpkin pie, and I decided a gingerbread crust would liven it up, and it did. This tart was fantastic, and I’m considering making it again for this year’s dinner. It’s really easy to make, and with some whipped cream on top, it’s a dessert you don’t forget. Even when the photo is on a memory card at the bottom of a box buried in the living room.
Gingerbread Pumpkin Tart
for the crust:
- 2 1/2 C. gingersnap crumbs (about 40 gingersnap cookies, ground into crumbs)
- 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 stick butter, melted
for the filling:
- 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3/4 C. sweetened condensed milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- pinch of salt
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs, brown sugar, flour, and salt.
Add the butter and stir until completely combined.
Press some of the mixture against the side of the bowl with your fingers, if it doesn’t hold together, add cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time up to a maximum of 1 tablespoon, and stir to combine.
Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a tart pan, evenly covering the bottom and coming up to the top of the sides of the pan.
Place the tart pan in the freezer and chill for 10 minutes.
Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is set, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the tart pan to a wire cooling rack and let it cool completely before filling.
In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, condensed milk, egg yolks and salt until well blended.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust (you may have extra filling, leave about 1/8″ at the top of the tart pan, do not fill all the way to the top).
Bake until set and beginning to brown on the top, about 30 minutes.
Remove the tart from the oven and cool to room temperature.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving (chill until ready to serve).
To serve, carefully remove outer ring of tart pan, slice, and serve.
Makes 8 servings.