First things first.  Dessert.  I was in the office installing the new Windows 7 on a couple of the computers and Victor headed into the kitchen to bake a pie for dessert.  Since I was already planning a leek and pupkin tart and pumpkin risotto, it really was going to be a pumpkin trople play!

I love this time of year!

He used the same recipe as the last pie:

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (or 1 can pumpkin puree)
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 unbaked 10″ pie shell

Preheat oven to 425°. Beat eggs, sugar, maple syrup, and spices in large bowl. Add pumpkin and mix well. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425° F. for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.


Why mess with success?!?

While that was baking (and while the computers were updating) I headed into the kitchen to start the tart.


This idea came from La Cucina Italiana magazine.  It was actually a leek and carrot tart that I changed just a bit.  This makes 4 individual tarts or one 9″ tart.  I was originally going to go down and buy a couple of individual tart pans this morning but the computer store opening at 11 won out over the kitchen store – in the opposite direction – opening up at noon.  I made it in a deep 9″ pan and baked it at 350° for about 45 minutes.

Leek and Pumpkin Tart


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp blanched slivered almonds
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp ice water


  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 large leek (2 cups sliced)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 oz Spanish blue cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup corn
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the pan

  • butter
  • breadcrumbs

Dough:  In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Add butter and mix until incorporated.  Add almonds and egg yolks; mix until dough resembles coarse meal.  Add in ice water; knead until dough is smooth.  Form dough into a ball, press into a disk, cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm – about 30 minutes.

Filling:  Slice and clean leeks.  Heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil in skillet.  Add leeks, salt and pepper, to taste, and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, cheese, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.

To assemble:  Butter 4 fluted tart pans with removable bottoms (or 1 9″ tart pan).  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, making sure sides are well-coated.

Roll out dough and cut to fit bottom of tart.  Cover dough with leeks, then top with pumpkin mixture.  Sprinkle with corn, and dust with paprika.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes for individual tarts and 45 minutes for a larger tart.

Cool slightly, remove from pand and serve hot or at room temperature.


Crust on bottom, with crumbs.


Leeks are cooked and ready to top the crust.


Pumpkin filling is ready.


Ready to serve.

The risotto was another variation on a theme.  The inspiration recipe was Risotto alla zucca con mostardi di Crimona, amaretti e salvia fritta.  I generally don’t use recipes for risotto.  They’re broth, rice, cheese, and whatever…  But it is fun to read the magazine and get ideas.  (My idea for this one was to not follow the recipe!)

I’m rather surprised I didn’t take any pictures of the risotto cooking!  I must be losing my tough, or something…

Pumpkin Risotto

  • 2/3 cup arborio rice
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms, diced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups hot chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Saute onions. mushrooms, and garlic in butted until well-cooked.  Add rice, stirring and coating with butter.  Cook until rice begins to brown.  Add about half the broth and cook until absorbed.  Add additional broth 1/2 cup at a time, until it is all absorbed and rice is tender.  Add pumpkin and heat through.  Add cheese and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Dinner was a lightly-breaded chicken breast that was browned and then finished off in the oven with a bit of the crumbled Mexican cheese.

The tart was tender and creamy with the rich flavor of leeks and just enough hint of the blue cheese (any cheese would work in it – I just happened to have the Spanish blue on hand).  The risotto was excellent – and there’s enough left of both for lunch tomorrow!

And for the computer geeks out there… Both computers are running just fine after installing the upgrade from Vista. (I didn’t do the clean install.)  Even though I backed everything up, not a file or program was out of place with the new operating system.  And things do seem to be working a little smoother…