Bourbon, Pumpkin, and Spiced Pecan Tart
This tart is deeply intoxicating in flavor -- and in spirits, unless you use apple cider instead of rum or bourbon. Either way, this decadent treat is wonderful served with a scoop of frozen non-dairy ice cream or sorbet. Makes one 9-inch tart (or 8 individual tarts).
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, divided
2 T. water
2 T. unbleached cane sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 t. cinnamon, divided
1/8 t. salt
1/3 cup safflower oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 – 16 oz. can pumpkin puree
2 T. bourbon, rum, or apple juice
1 T. organic Vanilla Extract
1 T. ginger, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
Lightly oil (or spray with oil) a 9-inch tart pan and set aside. In a small bowl, place the pecan halves, drizzle the water over them, and toss lightly to evenly moisten them. In another small bowl, stir together the sugar and 1/4 t. cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the moistened pecans and toss lightly to evenly coat them with the mixture. Place the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Pick out 16 perfect pecan halves, place them on a plate, and set aside to be used later as garnish for the tart.
Allow the remaining pecans to cool, and then transfer them to a food processor. Add the whole wheat pastry flour, oats, 1/2 t. cinnamon, and salt, and pulse a few times until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle in the oil and 1/4 cups maple syrup, and pulse a few times just until mixture comes together. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tart pan. Using your fingers, press the mixture to cover the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake it at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, wipe out the food processor so that it can be reused to prepare the filling. In the food processor, place the soy milk and arrowroot, and blend for 1 minute to fully dissolve the arrowroot. Add the remaining cinnamon, remaining maple syrup, and all of the remaining ingredients to the food processor, and blend for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Pour the filling into the prepared crust, return the cookie sheet to the oven, and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until set.
While the tart is still warm, decorate the top with the 16 reserved pecan halves. Allow the tart to cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then chill it for several hours before serving. Cut the tart into 8 pieces with a warmed knife.