This recipe is about as simple as a dessert can be, and you can even make the tart dough ahead of time to cut down on day-of prep. You don’t even need a stand mixer for the filling, just a bowl and a whisk. The texture is similar to pumpkin pie, but the flavor is a step above. The spices add all the flavors you would expect from a fall dessert, and the bourbon adds a hint of something special. I’m not sure I’d be able to recognize it as bourbon if I hadn’t put it in there myself, but it definitely adds a distinguishing flavor. I was a bit hesitant to add the full half-teaspoon of cloves since I’m not a huge clove fan, but I followed the recipe and am so glad I did. The amount of spice in this tart is simply perfect and only helps to elevate the pumpkin flavor. If you really want to take this over the top, make whipped cream with a splash of bourbon and pipe it around the borders (just don’t make the mistake I did and pipe it while the tart is still warm). So, to recap, we’ve got bourbon and pumpkin, two things that are practically a necessity for family holiday gatherings (at least in my family). Replace your pumpkin pie with this tart for Thanksgiving, and I promise everyone will be thanking you.
To make the crust, combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed for about 1½ minutes, until the mixture looks crumbly with small, pea-sized pieces of butter throughout. Whisk together the egg and the cream, then add to the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined, and then continue mixing for about 10 more seconds. If the dough is too dry to form a ball, add more cream, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together. Gently mold the dough into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
When ready to make the tart, generously flour a large surface. Roll the dough into a circle about ⅛-inch thick, fold over the rolling pin and transfer to a 10-inch tart pan. Gently press the dough into place. Heat oven to 350º.
To make the filling, spoon the pumpkin to a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, one at time, until thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the sugar and spices, then the cream and bourbon. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling has set. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before serving. When ready to serve, top with freshly whipped cream, if desired.