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Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Tartlets

Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie just isn’t right. Have your pie (and crème brûlée, too!) baked into individual chocolate shells.

The coolest thing about these tartlets is that they’re a dessert trifecta of pumpkin pie, crème brûlée, and chocolate. The second coolest thing is they’re easy as pie — always a good thing on Thanksgiving. One reason they’re so easy is their forgiving dough. Instead of traditional pie dough, these tartlet shells are essentially made from a chocolate cookie dough so you don’t have to worry about overmixing or keeping it cold since it isn’t intended to be flaky. While the crackling, brûléed tops are part of the wow, if you don’t have a torch, just skip them — you’ll still have some super-scrumptious pumpkin tartlets.


6 tartlets

Total Time

2½ hours + cooling and chilling

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Test Kitchen Tip

When brûlèeing tartlets, spread superfine sugar ¼-inch shy of the crust, that way you won't run the risk of burning the edges.


For the dough, combine flour, powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt in a food processor.

Add butter; pulse until pea-sized. With the processor running, add yolk mixture until dough forms around blade. Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

Divide dough into 6 equal pieces and roll each on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thick. Press dough into 10-cm. regular quiche pans and trim. Freeze shells 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°.

Line each shell with parchment paper and fill each to the top with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake shells on a baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and bake shells until cooked through, about 12 minutes more; cool completely.

For the filling, combine granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt; whisk half into egg yolks.

Heat cream, pumpkin purée, and remaining sugar mixture in a saucepan over medium-low until it boils.

Off heat, slowly drizzle cream mixture over yolks, whisking constantly; strain.

Divide custard among shells and bake until centers are barely set, about 25 minutes; let cool to room temperature, cover surface of tartlets with plastic wrap, and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the topping, spread top of each tartlet with 1½ tsp. superfine sugar; caramelize with a torch. Top tartlets with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate curls.


Since this crust is more like cookie dough than pie dough, you can easily patch any holes you make.


For the smoothest filling, press the pumpkin custard through a fine-mesh sieve before filling tartlets.


For the most even caramelization, keep the torch moving over the sugar until melted and browned.

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