Did you all know that I used to work as a baker in a pie shop?
Well, I did. For a whole year of my life it was all pie, all the time.
So needless to say, these nimble hands of mine have rolled out a lot of dough, crimped thousands of pretty pie edges (and some not so pretty edges = learning curve) and peeled more apples than I care to think about right now.
But here is my true confession: I’m not THAT into pie.
I know that’s a horrible thing to say. Especially for a former pie baker turned food blogger on the week before Thanksgiving. But I needed to get that statement off my chest. Phew. I feel better now.
Given that it’s almost Thanksgiving, I did want to bring you something resembling a traditional dessert. So here is my feeble attempt: a Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Tart.
The crust here is more shortbread-like than pie crust-like. And the chocolate swirl is kind of like having a brownie baked right into a pumpkin pie. These are both very good things, in my humble opinion.
Oh and I just love how pretty (yet imperfect) the swirl is on top. If you get a crack in the top of your tart (which is fairly common with pumpkin pie filling), no one will even notice or care. It’s all part of the rustic elegance of this Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Tart.
I have a few notes on the recipe that I thought were worth mentioning up front. First, you can (and should!) make the tart dough one or two days in advance, which will save you some work on Thanksgiving Day. Second, don’t let the chocolate filling get too cold, or it will thicken and become difficult to swirl together with the pumpkin filling. And third, tart pans can vary widely in size. So instead of me trying to adapt the recipe to fit every and all tart pans out there, I’m going to ask you to use your best judgement here. This recipe should work out OK with anything between a 9- and 11-inch tart pan. My tart pan is 9-inches, and I ended up with enough leftover dough and filling to make the mini-tart that you see in the images. If your tart pan is 10- or 11-inches, you should be able to fit all (or almost all) of the filling into a single pan. Just don’t overfill your pan. And if you happen to have some leftover, consider making a mini-version and eating it all up before your guests arrive. That’s the perk of being the chef!
Quinoa and Brussels Sprout Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Avocado and Pomegranate
When it comes to Thanksgiving, are you on Team Salad or Team No Salad?
Me? I’m a die hard member of Team Salad. I will never turn down the opportunity to eat a big, colorful salad. And Thanksgiving Day is no exception to that rule.
My Dad, however, plays for Team No Salad. His argument goes something like this: why would anybody want to waste stomach space on salad, which you could easily consume any other day of the year, when there are so many other side dishes and desserts at your fingertips.
OK. So I sort of get his point. Stomach real estate is definitely at a premium on Thanksgiving Day. But I’ve been practicing my stomach stretching skills, so I think I’m ready. Bring on the salad! And all the other goodies too!
If you are on Team Salad, then you might consider making this Quinoa and Brussels Sprout Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Avocado and Pomegranate for your Thanksgiving feast. It’s super festive looking and full of Fall favorites. It’s gluten free and vegan. AND you can assemble it several hours in advance. Can I get a hallelujah?!?! Anything that doesn’t have to be prepped at the absolute last minute is a life saver on Thanksgiving Day.
And if you’re on Team No Salad, don’t worry because I’ve got a stellar dessert recipe coming up on Friday. I’m covering all my bases.