Crème Fraîche Pumpkin Tart by Chef Bret Bannon

A delicious twist on pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving from Bret’s Table. The crème fraiche needs time to cool and set up, so make the creme fraiche, tart crust, and filling ahead of time and assemble the tart while you preheat the oven.


  •  15 ounces (1 can) pure pumpkin purée
  • 3/4 cup (about 5.3 ounces) firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 8 ounces crème fraîche (recipe below).  Reserve the remaining to use as a topping or for another use.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 10-inch tart shell (recipe below)

Crème Fraîche

Combine the cream and buttermilk in a saucepan and heat to no more than 85°F on an instant-read thermometer.  Pour into a clean glass or non-reactive bowl.  Partially cover with a clean dishtowel and let stand at room temperature (between 65 and 75 degrees) for 8 to 24 hours, or until thickened.

Stir and refrigerate at least 24 hours before using. The cream will keep tightly covered about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Ginger-Pecan Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecans
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (.75 ounce) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) Kalona SuperNatural™chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus more for buttering pan
  • 1 egg, beaten

Pumpkin Tart Filling Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, brown sugar, crème fraîche, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves until smooth.  Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake until filling is set, about 40 – 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool at least 30 minutes.  Refrigerate until well set, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place pecans in an ovenproof pan and cook for about 15 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.  Remove from oven and transfer to a shallow bowl or plate to cool.

While the pecans are toasting, butter a 10-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.  Line bottom with a round of parchment paper.

Combine cooled pecans and granulated sugar in food processor; using the metal “S” blade finely grind nuts.  Add flour, powdered sugar, and salt and blend for an additional 5 seconds or so.  Add butter and pulse using on/off turns, until coarse meal forms.  Add beaten egg and blend until moist clumps form, about 30 seconds.

Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Pierce bottom all over with fork. Freeze crust at least 1 hour, if wanting to freeze for more than an hour, removed from freezer and wrap tightly with aluminum foil.  Return to freezer for up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake crust uncovered until deep golden brown, checking often and pressing sides and bottom with back of fork during first 15 minutes when crust puffs or bubbles, about 20 minutes total. Cool completely.

2 thoughts on “Crème Fraîche Pumpkin Tart by Chef Bret Bannon

    1. Absolutely! You can try a traditional pan but it may be a little difficult to remove. Or you can always use a traditional crust and just use the “new” filling for your dessert.

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