Interesting story on how this rich fall tart came to be, check it out on my blog post.
Kerry and I love pumpkin.... but not pumpkin spice (Starbucks and every retailer in the nation be damned!). Since we started watching our sugar intake we have been looking for ways to eat some of our favorite foods in a different context. We've made savory pumpkin pies before, but this one was really rich and delicious.
We designed this pie to go along with a fall fling with some new friends of ours. This couple (names withheld to protect their reputations) we were aghast to learn, do not eat spicy food! I'd been in the mood to make some smoky baby back ribs and needed a side dish that said fall is here! The ribs were good but not remarkable, but this pie brought home all the feelings of the season I had hoped.
This was the time of Covid 19, so instead of filling two 8 inch pie shells, I chose to use my mini springform pans to provide individual servings and reduce cross contamination. The same could be done in ramekins or even one large springform pan. Adjust cooking time if using one large pan.
Feel free to substitute the type of meat and cheese to suit your needs.
If you have not put your butter in the freezer yet do it now. The more cold it is the better. I keep mine in our deep freeze. If you don't have a good heavy knife cut the cheese first and then put it in the freezer.
Next add the cubed butter and pulse on high until the butter begins to combine and the flour begins to look like coarse crumbs.
If you do not have a large food processor I recommend scraping it into a large bowl to mix in just enough ice water for the contents to come together into a dough. Just use your hands to work it together until it's a uniform consistency
If using the food processor, slowly drizzle the ice water in the food chute until it all comes together into one uniform ball.
Divide the dough into as many pans as you are using (4 for me). Since my pans were small I did not bother to roll it out, but just used my fingers to press the crust uniformly around the pan until it was about 1/8 inch thick and covered the entire pan.
If you are using pie pans I would recommend rolling the crust out onto parchment paper and then transferring it to your pans so the crust thickness is uniform.
I used one large leek: greens and whites. I don't know why so many people throw away the green parts. The added color adds a nice touch to the dish and you only have to cook them a little bit longer.
Cut the roots off the leek and split it down the middle. Make sure you was the leek once its split they almost always hold dirt and sand down in the layers of leaves.
Chop the separated leaves of the lead into small strips and then add them to a large skillet or dutch oven with the 2 tablespoons of oil.
Wipe any soil off your mushrooms, but do not wash them.
I use a small dice on the mushroom because I wanted the flavor spread throughout the dish and the pie to have a mainly smooth consistency. I was looking for something more 'pie-ish' as opposed to 'quiche-ish' or 'frittata-ish'.
Add the diced mushrooms to the pan with the leeks and olive oil. Saute until the leeks have begun to soften and then add the minced garlic. Continue to saute until the vegetables are beginning to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan (this is a good thing!).
When you have several brown bits stuck to the bottom of your pan, add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Use a spatula or spoon and work with the moisture from the wine to remove all the carmelized bits from the bottom of the pan.
Continue to saute until the wine has almost completely evaporated.
Place all the veggies into a large mixing bowl to cool.
Chop your uncooked bacon or sausage into small pieces and fry it in the same skillet as the vegetables. You may need to add a touch more oil if you are using Canadian bacon like I did. You want to cook the meat until it has nice browned edges. If you are using American bacon I recommend getting it nice and crispy.
Once it's done, add it to the large mixing bowl with the vegetables
Now it's time to mix all the filling together. The only worry is that the hot meat and veggies might cook the egg too soon. Don't worry too much the two cans of pumpkin and yogurt should cool things off enough to prevent that from happening. Add the pumkin puree and the yogurt to the mixing bowl and stir well.
If you are worried use an instant thermometer to make sure the filling is below 130 degrees before adding the eggs. Egg whites solidify at 140 degrees, but I like to give myself some wiggle room in case my thermometer is off a degree or ten.
While things are cooling off shred your cheese of choice. I choose this Dutch Bike cheese because Swiss goes so well with mushrooms and Gouda is delicious with pumpkin. It was right on the money.
Before adding the cheese add the following ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir well to incorporate everything.
Once everything is combined well, I add the cheese and stir just enough to distribute it evenly throughout the filling.
Divide the filling up between your pie shells. This pie does not rise much at all so you can feel free to fill them pretty closely to the top.
Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes (longer for one large pie) until the centers do not jiggle when your wiggle the pie plate.
For some extra color and caramelization you can turn on the broiler for a minute or two to make sure the edges are good and brown
Once the pie is done keep it warm in the oven until time to serve. If you need need the oven for another dish, just cover it with parchment and a kitchen towel of two to hold in the heat.
I have made this the day before and pulled it out of the oven before it was quite done... just a tad jiggly in the middle. I did the final cooking the day of the meal. I pulled it out of the fridge two hours before cooking to bring it up to room temp and then finished the cooking with about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
I served this with smoky baby back ribs slathered in homemade blueberry BBQ sauce, hand canned green beans and a mayonnaise free potato salad that featured the last of the surviving herbs in my garden.
I think it would go well with most any meal or even as a meal in of itself. The flavor would pair well with a chardonnay.