Thursday, November 22, 2012

Alton Brown's City Ham & Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts

I am in the process of making Alton Brown's City Ham.  I made this ham a couple years ago, and it is delicious.  My brother-in-law, Dan, said it was the best ham he ever had.  I realize ham isn't as traditional for Thanksgiving as turkey, but this recipe is so good nobody will be missing the bird.  Since it is a 6-hour process to cook I am up bright and early to get the ham in the oven.  We are headed to my sister-in-law's house at 2:00 p.m.  It might be a little late to add this recipe to your Thanksgiving menu.  However, Christmas is just around the corner so I highly recommend trying out this recipe for your holiday feast.

Yesterday I made mini pumpkin pie tarts with homemade cream cheese frosting.  The recipes for both are so easy as long as you have a mixer. 

Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts

For the crust:

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 3-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour

Pumpkin filling:

1 egg
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

For the crust beat the margarine and cream cheese together on medium to high with an electric mixer until combined.  Slowly add the flour until well mixed.  Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for an hour to make the dough easier to handle.

Form the chilled dough into 24 equal sized balls.  Place each ball into 1 3/4-inch muffin cup.  Press the dough evenly against the bottom and sides of the muffin cup.  Preheat the oven at 325 degrees.

Next prepare the pumpkin filling.  Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.  Fill each pastry lined muffin cup with a rounded teaspoon of the pumpkin filling.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool slightly in the pan.  Remove the tarts from pans and cool.  24 servings, 66 calories per serving.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting: 

1 4-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whip the cream cheese and margarine together with an electric mixer.  Add the vanilla.  Add the sugar slowly.  Spoon the frosting into a piping bag or zip lock bag.  Chill the frosting in the fridge until ready to use.

Once the pie tarts are ready to serve pipe a dollop of frosting onto each tart.  If using a zip lock bag, then cut one of the corners of the bag to turn it into a piping bag. 

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