Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.~ MLK.
Paris. I’m not sure what I can say that hasn’t already been said, but like everyone else, my heart aches. It aches not only for a city that has been beaten down, or for those who died or were injured, but because this has happened before. It still happens today in areas of the world not so lucky to have press coverage shine a light on them. It will happen again, but when or where we won’t know until it’s too late. And it makes me sad because I can’t imagine living in a world where events like these become part of a past long forgotten.
To offer a silver lining, it’s tragedies like Paris that make the world seems small, and the distance and differences between peoples evaporate. The solidarities shown by nations make it feel like there is still more good than bad, and when thinking of those who will never again say goodnight to their loved ones, it makes us make a concerted point to say it to ours. It makes us aware, and it makes us thankful.
And in that spirit, maybe as we inch towards Thanksgiving here in the U.S. day by day, we remember to keep the sentiment ever-present in this upcoming holiday season alive through December 25th and beyond.
Okay, there’s my dear diary for today, so let’s move on to more pleasant things like a dessert to round out a Middle Eastern Thanksgiving spread that has, to refresh, included za’atar spiced squash, roasted fennel salad, apricot and almond dressing and tabbouleh spiced turkey. While I’m already pretty full, I know that dessert has a separate compartment in my stomach, so there will be room for pie.
After you’re done refreshing, let’s make this. Today’s pumpkin orange tart is a twist on pumpkin pie and, like when making the stuffing, I tried hard to keep the essence of what everyone loves about this Thanksgiving favorite. I used the awesome almond-orange crust from the fig tart I made when I hit the Middle East the first go around, and the filling I adapted from Libby’s tried and true recipe, adding some orange and honey to make it jive with the theme.
Topped and finished with some lovely cinnamon vanilla whipped cream, it’s perfect, and will put up a pretty good fight against your standard pumpkin pie.
In fact, it will win.
Don’t have orange olive oil? Use regular olive oil, and add 2 tsp grated orange zest instead (and then go out and buy orange olive oil).
For the honey, get some good stuff. Leave Sue Bee for the pancakes (but really, even pancakes deserve better).
The dough will not roll, just press it into the pan. If you want to use a removable tart pan, go for it. Also, not that this crust won’t leave much to go up the sides of the pan. If you want it to do so, multiply the crust recipe by 1.5.
- 2/3 cup almonds, toasted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 TB sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 TB blood orange olive oil
- 3 TB water
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup granulate sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 TB orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
- 2 large eggs
- 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 5 TB granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Place the almonds in a food processor and roughly chop. Add the flour, sugar and salt, and pulse until the mixture is thoroughly combined, and the nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Add the egg yolk, oil and 3 TB water and combine, using your fingers if necessary, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a medium bowl, mix the sugar, honey, cinnamon, salt, ginger, orange zest and cloves in small bowl. Beat in the eggs. Stir in pumpkin and slowly add the evaporated milk. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, remove the plastic and pat the dough into a 9” tart pan or pie plate. Fit a piece of aluminum foil into the tart shell to help it keep its shape. Bake 10 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Let the shell sit 10 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 350F.
- Fill the tart shell with the filling mixture and bake 45-50 minutes, or until the center is set when you jiggle it. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temp, at least two hours.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whip the cream, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla to medium-stiff peaks.
- Slice tart and serve with whipped cream.
- Don't have orange oil? Use olive oil and 2 TB orange zest.
Written while drinking some cinnamon spiced coffee as I cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame.
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