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pumpkin tart slice

Spiced Pumpkin Tart

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes (includes crust par-bake)
  • Total Time: 6 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: serves 8-10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This pumpkin tart combines a pecan pastry crust and wonderfully spiced pumpkin pie filling. Review recipe notes before starting and don’t forget to check out the step-by-step crust photos below the recipe.



  • 2/3 cup (85g) chopped or halved pecans
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (160gall-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp; 113g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) ice cold water


  • 1 and 1/3 cups (300g) pumpkin puree*
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch black pepper (see note)

Optional Toppings


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place large baking sheet on center oven rack. You will bake the tart on the baking sheet, which will make it easy to transfer the tart pan to/from the oven AND catch any possible butter leakage from the tart pan.
  2. Make the crust: If you need a visual for the crust steps, there are helpful step-by-step photos below the recipe. Using a food processor, pulse the pecans, flour, salt, and sugar together until it reaches the consistency of coarse meal. Add the cubes of cold butter and pulse until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs. Drizzle ice water on top and pulse 8-10 times to bring dough together.  Dough will be crumbly, but there should be no more dry flour. Do your best to press dough tightly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Carefully line the inside of the crust with two pieces of parchment paper. Pour in the pie weights. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pan.
  3. Place on baking sheet and bake (with weights) for 15 minutes. Remove tart from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (with the weights) out of the tart. Prick holes all around the bottom crust with a fork. Return the tart crust to the oven (on the baking sheet) and bake for 10-12 minutes to help dry out and set the bottom. Remove from the oven and set aside until step 6. You can par-bake the crust up to 3 days ahead of time. Cover and store in the refrigerator (without weights) until ready to use.
  4. Reduce oven to 350°F (177°C).
  5. For the filling: Whisk all of the filling ingredients together until combined and smooth. Feel free to use a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to combine.
  6. Pour filling into warm crust. Bake tart (on baking sheet) until the center of the tart is nearly set—give the pan a light tap with your oven mitt to check—about 45-48 minutes. A small part of the center will be wobbly—that’s ok.
  7. Remove tart from the oven, place on a wire rack, and cool completely for at least 4-5 hours. Serve pie with optional toppings if desired. I used Wilton 1M piping tip for the whipped cream in the pictured pie.
  8. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: This tart must cool completely before serving, so it’s perfect for making 1 day ahead. Cool completely, then loosely cover and store at room temperature before serving the next day. Baked and cooled pumpkin tart freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. You can par-bake the crust ahead of time—see end of step 3. The filling can be made 1 day in advance, cover and refrigerate before pouring into warm par-baked crust. No need to bring to room temperature before baking, but bake time may be a couple minutes longer.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Baking SheetLarge Food Processor (6-cup capacity or larger so there’s extra room for the crust mixture to move around/pulse) | 9-inch Tart Pan | Pie Weights (2 packs to fill the pan) | Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk | Cooling Rack | Piping Bag (Reusable or Disposable) | Wilton 1M Piping Tip
  3. No Food Processor? You need a food processor in step 2. If you do not have one, chop the pecans as finely as possible. Whisk with the flour, salt, and sugar. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the cold butter. Use a silicone spatula or your hands to mix in the water.
  4. Mini Tarts: My team and I haven’t tested this recipe in mini tart pans yet, so report back if you try it. Par-baking the crusts would definitely still be beneficial—just for a reduced time.
  5. Other Crust Options: See specific details and instructions in post above.
  6. Pecans: The only substitution I tested was walnuts and it worked just as well. To skip the nuts, use an alternative crust option detailed in the post above.
  7. Pumpkin Puree: Though fresh pumpkin puree worked just fine, taste testers and I preferred the tart made with canned pumpkin puree instead.
  8. Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is best in this tart. In a pinch, you can substitute half-and-half.
  9. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper, you can use 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Be sure to still add 1 and 1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon.
  10. Pepper: This adds deeper spice flavor that taste testers certainly notice, but never realize it’s black pepper. I usually add just under 1/8 teaspoon of pure ground black pepper for lots of flavor, but feel free to reduce to a tiny pinch or 1/16 teaspoon. If using freshly ground black pepper from a grinder, 3-4 twists of the grinder is plenty.

Keywords: pumpkin tart