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Drunken Pumpkin Bourbon Tart With Mascarpone Cream

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

Holidays really have a tendency to make us marvel at the time gone by year after year don’t they? We shake our heads in denial and wonder how can time fly by this fast. Right now I am grinning as I look at the calendar, thinking that I’ve done a lot and yippee there is way more to do! There are things I’ll happily leave behind when the new year rolls in but overall I am saying out loud "Yes! Let’s do this again and often please!" That’s worth a good slice of pie and glass of milk.


Like most of you celebrating Thanksgiving, the week is going to be a bit of whirlwind at the house. Some of you travel to be with your family, some of you host the traditional dinner, some of you try your best to avoid the madness of it all, stores and crowds. Some of us still have to work and meet deadlines in the middle of it. That’s the holidays indeed.

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

This year we decided to break the routine and decided that since Christmas was already planned to happen here with B’s family, we could make ourselves scarce and gather some of our favorite people around a table full of good food, good cheers and good talks. If I had one word for the driving force behind this past year for us, it would be "friends" and I am thankful for the ones coming to stay with us this week.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream

One thing I have learned to bake for Thanksgiving in B’s family was pumpkin pie. And sweet potato pie. And pecan pie. And…well that’s plenty to give you an idea that pumpkin pie was not something I grew up eating or making. I have to admit that up until a few weeks ago I liked it "fine" or "ok". Yes, I am definitely a pecan pie kind of girl. So what changed?

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

Well. The great thing about photographing cookbooks is the amount of recipes I get to cook and style before anyone else. Like a secret mission. No matter how complicated, long, short, easy…from just ok to outstandingly delicious. There is a bit of a void when a shoot wraps up and I know that once the files are processed and sent off, well the baby is not mine anymore. It grows in the hands of a team of people putting the author’s words together with my images. A part of me does not want it to end.

You can imagine that after finishing Holly Herrick's cookbook shoot a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear that her publisher wanted her to post a few recipes on her blog already. Teasers if you want until next Fall that the book comes out. A nice little way to hang on to the fun I had shooting a little longer. I am glad Holly started with the Drunken Pumpkin Bourbon Tart as you can see in the sliced shot which will be in her book. A little sneak peek and a great recipe. Right on time for Thanskgiving.

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

I am insanely thankful for all the things I got the chance to photograph and write this year. I am grateful for the opportunities to photograph, co-author and author myself in the year to come. I could never have done it without your support and faith in reading the words on this page. Week after week. Thank you guys for all that you have given me. I hope that I gave it back tenfold and more and will work my hardest to keep doing so.

You are the best! Happy Thanksgiving!

Big congratulations to Audrey Han for winning a copy of Gluten Free Girl and The Chef! Send me your address at mytartelette {at} gmail {dot} com and I’ll pass it on.

Here is the link to Holly’s blog for the Drunken Pumpkin Bourbon Tart to check out the recipe and her notes about it.

I used eight 4-inch tart pans instead and baked them at the same temperature for about 15 minutes.

I topped mine with a little mascarpone cream:
4 oz mascarpone at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and honey. Carefully fold in the whipped cream. Spread as little or as much as you wish on top of the baked tart.

For the option of a gluten free crust, check here for a few options.

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Esme November 22, 2010 um 6:16 am

This tart looks perfect for Thanksgiving-I always put a splash of bourbon in the pie.

Amber November 22, 2010 um 6:47 am

I love pumpkin – my regular snack of choice.Bourbon in the pie -mmmmmmmm…
This tart is delicious!

LimeCake November 22, 2010 um 7:04 am

pumpkin and bourbon sound delicious together! i really love the deep orange of this tart

Kathryn November 22, 2010 um 8:34 am

although it appeals to me.. i have never had pumpkin pie, this may just be the recipe that will change that!

julia November 22, 2010 um 9:47 am


About Holly Herrick November 22, 2010 um 12:07 pm

Helene – This is a beautiful post. I love the pumpkin in tartlet form topped w mascarpone and pine nuts, too. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving. You have earned all that you have to be thankful for. Here's to a lovely 2011! Thanks for your beautiful work.

linda November 22, 2010 um 1:29 pm

wishing you a wonderful thanksgiving & we are thankful for your beautiful posts.

Anonymous November 22, 2010 um 2:24 pm

I wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Now I am living in Barcelona and I will miss this holiday. The tarts are gorgeous!

Angharad November 22, 2010 um 3:26 pm

I love your photos so much! They give me huge inspiration for my own photography and I'm really thankful for that! Happy thanksgiving.

A Bowl Of Mush November 22, 2010 um 3:56 pm

So beautiful!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Nina Timm November 22, 2010 um 4:22 pm

I like the name "Drunken Pumpkin Bourboun Tart!!" Sounds too good to eat!

elizabeyta November 22, 2010 um 5:38 pm

I have been craving pumpkin pie since September. This is a must try!

El November 22, 2010 um 6:39 pm

Congratulations Helene. I'm so glad things worked out for you this year. You worked really hard to make it happen and deserve all the best. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Bill. Relax and Enjoy!

Retro Sweets Hampers November 22, 2010 um 7:47 pm

Nice recipe! Bourbon and pumpkin? First time to know such combo. The mascarpone makes it even better. Love the stuff!

The InTolerant Chef โ„ข November 22, 2010 um 8:17 pm

How delicious! What a lovely combination, and the marscarpone is the perfect finishing touch. Yumm…

Chef Basket November 22, 2010 um 8:28 pm

Thanks for this drunken pumpkin bourbon tart with mascarpone cream. I think it could make a great addition to the Thanksgiving table.

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures November 22, 2010 um 8:35 pm

Yum, looks super delish!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


Scarletta @ Scarletta Bakes November 22, 2010 um 9:10 pm

Lovely. Such a nice alternative to the conventional pumpkin pie. I even like the name of the dish – it conjures up images of a drunken pumpkin stumbling around the house.

Thanks so much for the wonderful idea for a tasty Thanksgiving dessert!

Fragolina November 23, 2010 um 9:38 am

I love your photos, they are so warm, so natural so beautiful..

Amelia PS November 23, 2010 um 2:21 pm

pumpkin, plus bourbon, plus giving thanks…not necessarily in that order…a perfect thanksgiving!!! BTW, I am thankful for you and your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

Medifast Coupons November 23, 2010 um 4:50 pm

Your drunken tartlettes look really good. Love the recipe, thanks for sharing.

Carolyn Jung November 23, 2010 um 4:57 pm

"Drunken,'' "bourbon,'' and "mascarpone''? My three favorite words in the foodie dictionary! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sally – My Custard Pie November 23, 2010 um 5:58 pm

Bourbon is a fabulous ingredient to cook with – it adds a smokey vanilla taste. I love it and have just got to try your beautiful tart.

jodye @ 'scend food November 23, 2010 um 7:22 pm

These tarts are gorgeous! The mascarpone on top looks so perfect!

Miriam Leigh November 23, 2010 um 7:25 pm

I love toasted pumpkin seeds in a dessert — such an earthy crunch to round out the sweetness. This looks fabulous!

Gen November 23, 2010 um 8:22 pm

Hum รงa a l'air exquis!

Sneh Roy November 23, 2010 um 11:46 pm

This is so so picture perfect!

Imwaytoobusy November 24, 2010 um 1:10 am

Cute post ๐Ÿ™‚ Your mascarpone cream sounds heavenly!

Unknown November 24, 2010 um 2:28 am

I have pre-ordered your upcoming book, Helene. So excited to get it once it is published (around February in New Zealand it is available they say). I am on the way of writing food photography myself with two friends of mine, started months ago, and hopefully will be published some time next year, but it is only published in Indonesia.

Regarding to White Lily flour, is it a flour that is starched from lilies? I haven't heard of it. Here, we only use gluten-free flour, a mixed of rice flour, potato starch, and cornflour.

Helene November 24, 2010 um 5:32 am

Arfi: the manuscript is due in February so the book won''t be out in February. Even in NZ ๐Ÿ™‚
White Lilly is just the name of the brand – it's a very fine all-purpose flour that is found in the Southern US. You can substitute your own gluten free flours.

The Simply Luxurious Life November 24, 2010 um 6:03 am

A great thank you to Sacramento Street for mentioning your blog. I love your concept and will be adding you to my lovely blogs list and can't wait to try this recipe. It looks delicious. Have a lovely Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿ™‚

Unknown November 24, 2010 um 6:38 am

Yet another mouthwatering dessert. I have been lurking on your site for about a year now…. and I was wondering, what do you use for your gluten-free pie crust? Is it pretty much the same as what you would use for a tart or somewhat modified? Just curious since you don't have a single pie recipe on your site, yet you speak of them… would love to know!

Alice Olive November 24, 2010 um 3:25 pm

Wonderful photography!

les 2 gourmands November 25, 2010 um 4:24 pm

humm yummy yum yum, they're so beautiful and look delicious !!

Delishhh November 26, 2010 um 2:26 am

Wow – i just love your site, awesome pictures. Anyways i love holiday baking as well. I just wish i had more people to serve too. Also since I am Swedish we make a lot of candy.

Despina Platia November 26, 2010 um 12:43 pm

Looks delicious!
Beautiful site and incredible photography!

[email protected] November 27, 2010 um 12:15 am

Gosh, you sure do inspire more than words could ever speak. You have a true gift of sharing beauty through the camera lens & your words. You blog is an ongoing inspiration to me & I wish to sample each & every one of your edible creations some day ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

[email protected] November 27, 2010 um 12:15 am

Gosh, you sure do inspire more than words could ever speak. You have a true gift of sharing beauty through the camera lens & your words. You blog is an ongoing inspiration to me & I wish to sample each & every one of your edible creations some day ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

sanju November 27, 2010 um 6:23 am

Love your tart. Very nice photos as usual

Heidi – Apples Under My Bed November 28, 2010 um 3:11 am

What a gorgeous looking pie. And I love your adaptation into little tarts with mascarpone. Well done on what will no doubt be a fabulous, beautifully photographed book!
Heidi xo

Amanda November 28, 2010 um 4:09 am

The pie looks decadent! Perfect for Christmas. Beautiful photos as well.

Anonymous November 28, 2010 um 10:05 am

I love your site! I can't wait to make this… Thanks!

Fotograf Lublin November 28, 2010 um 1:10 pm

Absolutely gorgeous!!!!

Guy November 28, 2010 um 1:39 pm

I always put the bourbon in me, but I do have enough to share…pumpkin and bourbon sounds like a winning combination!

SCARLETT November 28, 2010 um 6:56 pm

I'm going to try this one out-my first Pumpkin pie over here in England! many thanks!

Unknown November 28, 2010 um 9:40 pm

That looks wonderful.

Bojana November 30, 2010 um 1:12 pm

I made the pie, using cognac instead of bourbon and it tasted divine!

Sara December 1, 2010 um 4:49 pm

I made this pie for Thanksgiving day but was very salty. I made it again with 1tsp instead of a 1tbsp and was wonderful.
I love your blog!


Helene December 1, 2010 um 6:01 pm

Sara: yes, I would too as the recipe on Holly's site lists 1 teaspoon salt and not 1 tablespoon.

Sara December 1, 2010 um 7:44 pm

Thank you,
She must have changed the recipe because the copy I printed on Wednesday used a tbsp.


Helene December 2, 2010 um 3:49 am

Sara: yes, looks like from reading the comments that she had made a typo and fixed it. Not many people would have done it a second time so I am sure she feels terrible and grateful for your dedication.
Good thing the manuscript recipe does not contain such a typo or my husband would have made a bitter face too!

Taylor Sterling December 2, 2010 um 5:13 pm

Looks so incredible! WOW!! I want that for Xmas!

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