Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Cream Tarts with Candied Cranberries

3 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 3/4 cups sugar
1 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 cups puréed pumpkin
2 tablespoons brandy or Cognac
1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
4 large egg yolks
1 cups heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks

Make the tart shells: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the gingersnap cookie crumbs, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and butter in a large bowl. Cover the bottoms and sides of eight 3 1/2-inch tartlet pans with removable bottoms with the crumb mixture. Transfer the tartlet shells to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Make the cranberry topping: Bring 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the cranberries and cook until they just begin to soften. Remove cranberries with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and set aside. Reserve cranberry syrup for another use.
Make the filling: Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside. Place the milk in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over it, and set aside. Combine the pumpkin purée, 3/4 cup sugar, brandy, remaining cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and egg yolks in large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and a thermometer reads 140 degrees F. Stir in the milk mixture, cook for 1 more minute, transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and place over the prepared ice bath. Stir occasionally, until cool — about 10 minutes. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled pumpkin mixture, fill the prepared shells, and smooth the tops. Chill for 6 hours or overnight. Top each tartlet with a spoonful of the candied cranberries and serve cold.

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