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Though pumpkin tarts are simple to make, by using good tips, such as garnishing with spices or mint sprigs, one can create a simple yet elegant holiday dessert. Baked tarts yield the warm, gooey flavor commonly associated with fresh pie, while no-bake tarts are quick and easy to prepare in a limited time setting. Acquiring a high quality pastry shell or puff pastry is another key component in cooking superior pumpkin tarts.
When selecting the ingredients to make pumpkin pastries, quality should be kept in mind. The expiration dates on packages, especially on canned pumpkin, should always be checked. Pastry shells should be whole to avoid crumbling, as well as to ensure that diners will be able to hold the desserts without creating a large mess. If using fresh pumpkin, be sure to obtain small pumpkins, which are generally sweeter than the larger fruits used for carving jack-o-lanterns.
Cooks in a hurry may opt to use a simple, no-bake recipe, such as one that includes an instant pudding mix. While this may be more quick and convenient, one should keep in mind that the quality and taste of the tarts will differ from those that are made with a baked recipe. For an elegant feast, baked pumpkin tarts may be more appropriate than other recipes.
While cooking pumpkin tarts, it is important to follow baking instructions correctly. Failure to do so can result in charred tarts that are unpleasant to eat. Many people enjoy their pumpkin pie chilled, so stowing the finished tarts in the refrigerator prior to serving is another tip that many cooks may wish to employ.
Garnishing pumpkin tarts is another step that should not be skipped. Since most pumpkin tarts are fairly simple, artfully garnishing them can ensure that they are aesthetically pleasing as well as delicious. Whipped topping is a common garnishment to use. Dusting pumpkin spice, cocoa powder, cinnamon, crystal sprinkles, or other adornments on top of the topping can add both flavor and visual appeal. Some cooks also garnish their tarts with a sprig of mint leaf.
Nuts can provide pumpkin tarts with added flavor and texture. Halved nuts can be artfully arranged on the top of a pumpkin treat to create an attractive display. Whole nuts may be chopped finely to be sprinkled over the tarts. Other crunchy textures, such as gingersnaps or other cookies, may also be crushed or added for texture and taste.
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