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"We love pumpkin pie, but we don’t love how dense and cloying it can be. We wanted a lighter, fresher take with a pronounced pumpkin flavor. Canned pumpkin puree was a great place to start, but we intensified the flavor by giving it a quick sauté with dark brown sugar. This simmers off excess moisture and adds caramel flavors. Deglazing the pan with bourbon added a complexity we loved, but an equal amount of orange juice worked well, too. Crème fraîche gave the filling tang and richness that other dairy products couldn't match."
Start to finish: 1 hour 40 minutes (40 minutes active), plus cooling
*Don't use canned pumpkin pie filling for this recipe. Look for unsweetened canned pumpkin puree; the only ingredient listed should be pumpkin. —Erika Bruce **Don't use creamed, thick or crystallized honey for this recipe. In order for the cream and honey to properly mix, a thin, pourable honey is needed.
Make the pie crust. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Microwave until set, 30 to 40 seconds, stirring halfway through. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Once the cornstarch mixture has chilled, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt, then process until mixed, about 5 seconds. Add the chilled cornstarch mixture and pulse until uniformly ground, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and sour cream, then process until the dough comes together and begins to collect around the blade, 20 to 30 seconds. Pat the dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours.
Heat the oven to 375°F with racks in the middle and lowest positions. On a well-floured counter, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Wrap the dough loosely around the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Ease the dough into the pan, then trim the edges flush with the rim. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Line the chilled tart shell with heavy-duty foil and fill with enough pie weights to come three-quarters up, then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the oven's lowest rack until the edges are light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove the foil and weights, then bake until the bottom just begins to color, another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
While the crust bakes, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, combine the pumpkin and sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened, dark and leaves a film on the pan, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup (the yield should be 1 1/2 cups).
Add the bourbon to the skillet, return to medium-high heat and stir, scraping up any browned bits; add to the pumpkin mixture.
In a food processor, combine the pumpkin mixture and crème fraiche; process until smooth. Scrape down the bowl, add the eggs and salt, then process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the filling into the warm crust, smoothing the top. Bake on the baking sheet on the middle rack until the edges start to puff and crack and the center sets, 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients for the whipped cream. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low until frothy, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to make sure the honey is incorporated. Mix on medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the outer metal ring of the tart and serve warm or at room temperature.
Excerpt from "Milk Street" by Chris Kimball. Copyright © 2017 by Chris Kimball. Used with permission by Little, Brown and Company. All rights reserved.