No-bake pumpkin chocolate meringue tarts

By Christine Cushing
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With the oven being in full use this holiday season, try these no bake pumpkin tartlets with a chocolatey cookie crust. The meringue topping is also a unique twist.  Since filling makes a bit more than 12 tarts, I suggest filling a couple of ramekins with the leftover custard, creating two gluten free options for your guests.

SERVES
4
 TO
5
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate wafers
  • 1/3 cup melted butter

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 package plain gelatin
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup whipping (35 %) cream
  • 415 milliliter can pure pumpkin purée

For the meringue:

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 12 muffin papers

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl combine chocolate crumbs and melted butter.  Stir to fully blend.  Divide this mixture into a full size muffin tin, lined with muffin papers.  Using a shot glass or small glass, press and turn mixture into the bottom of papers creating a base for tarts.  Freeze for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile for custard, pour milk into a saucepan and sprinkle gelatin on top to bloom.  Let stand for three minutes, until it has absorbed liquid. Add the dark brown sugar, spices and eggs and whisk well.  Over medium low heat whisk until gelatin is fully dissolved and mixture begins to thicken but does not fully boil.  Remove from heat.
  3. Add the whipping cream and pumpkin puree and stir well to fully blend. Fill each prepared tart shell to the top with filling, and pour the excess into ramekins for gluten or crust- free options.   Chill for at least three hours, until set.
  4. Just before serving, make meringue by, whisking together the egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, cream of tartar and salt in a stainless steel bowl of a mixer.
  5. Place bowl on a double boiler with water just simmering, with bowl not touching the surface of the water.  Whisk until hot to the touch, about two minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat on high speed, until stiff peaks hold about five to six minutes. 
  6. Pipe or spoon meringue onto set tarts, creating desired pattern.  To finish, brown the meringue with torch or place pie under pre-heated broiler for one to two minutes , just until edges are caramelized.  Serve immediately. 
  7. Makes 12 tarts + two gluten free

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