Pumpkin custard tart

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This simple pumpkin custard tart is served in a buttery, crumbly sablé tart case rather than the flaky pie crust typically used for an American pumpkin pie. The pumpkin purée is made from scratch, and makes more than you need for just this recipe. Any remainder can be used in other pumpkin desserts, like pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie.

First published in 2024





Pumpkin purée

Pumpkin custard

  • 60g of egg yolk
  • 10g of muscovado sugar
  • 220g of double cream
  • 100g of caster sugar, plus extra for finishing
  • 40g of water
  • 2g of salt
  • crème fraîche, to serve


  • Blow torch
  • 18cm tart case



Preheat the oven to 140°C and line the tart case with baking parchment


First make the sablé. Toast the almonds in the oven for 6 minutes


Meanwhile, cream the butter until soft and light then carefully add the icing sugar and mix again

  • 300g of butter
  • 170g of icing sugar

Add the vanilla by splitting open the pod and scraping out the seeds, and then add in the egg bit by bit

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 120g of whole egg, plus 1 egg white

Add the salt, ground almonds and the flour, taking care to only mix until just combined


Once the mix has come together, remove from the machine and finish by hand


Rest in the fridge for 4 hours


Roll out the pastry and press into a lined tart case


Let the pastry rest in the fridge overnight


The next day, preheat the oven to 160°C and line the pastry with greaseproof and then fill with baking beans/pulses/rice etc.


Blind bake for around 15–20 minutes until the pastry is set, then remove the blind baking beans and greaseproof. Brush with egg white and return to the oven and bake until golden, about 5–8 more minutes


Remove the baked sablé from the oven and turn the temperature up to 180°C


Mix all the spices, thyme leaves, salt and sugar together


Drizzle the pumpkin with oil and then rub spices into the pumpkin

  • 1/4 pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • vegetable oil, for cooking

Put the pumpkin on a gastro and roast for 40 minutes


Blend in Thermomix or high-powered blender and then chill.


For the pumpkin custard, mix together the egg yolks, muscovado sugar and 40g of the blended spiced pumpkin


Bring the cream to a simmer, then whisk into the egg mix

  • 220g of double cream

Add the water and sugar to a pan, and warm over a low heat, swirling to dissolve the sugar in the water, but not stirring. When the sugar has mostly dissolved, swirl to incorporate the remaining caster sugar, and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the colour changes to a light caramel, swirling occasionally

  • 40g of water
  • 100g of caster sugar, plus extra for finishing

Preheat the oven to 130°C


Carefully pour the caramel into the warm custard mix then blend with a stick blender, and add the salt


Cook for 30–40 minutes, or until the custard mix is set but still looks slightly wet in the middle; it should have a wobble to it


Pour the mixture into the tart case


Remove from the oven and let cool


Dust the top of the custard tart with golden caster sugar and blowtorch. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche

  • crème fraîche, to serve
First published in 2024

A protégé of the late Andrew Fairlie and now one of the chefs at the forefront of Scotland’s fine dining scene, Lorna McNee’s refined style of cookery is all about celebrating her country’s incredible natural larder through carefully constructed dishes. This has seen her become the only female chef in Scotland to currently hold a Michelin star.

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