A Trio of Autumn Tarts

A trio of autumn tarts, Bumpkin BettyWhen it comes to baking, nothing says autumn to me more than a tasty pie. The flaky crust and piping hot filling served straight from the oven with a dollop of ice creamย before cosying up in front of a warm fire after a cold day outdoors – what a treat right?

With things getting decidedly colder in the last couple of weeks, and my autumn rituals stepping up a gear, I knew my first bake in our new house needed to be something hearty, warm and comforting. With the October theme for the BB Baking Club being Autumn, I was pretty much set from the beginning on making a pie of some sort.

Only problem was, I couldn’t decide what kind to go for. A classic fruit pie is always a favourite and personally I adore fruits like brambles and cherries inside a sweet pastry case. But then with Halloween approaching and a few pumpkins sitting pretty on our fireplace just waiting to be carved, the lure of a sweet pumpkin pie was also tempting me. And then of course, whenever I make pastry, I have the urge to fill it with all things sweet in the form of chocolate and toffee.

So being indecisive (and greedy perhaps), I decided I shouldn’t have to choose and went in search of some mini tart tins so I could make all three. As well as the fact that I love all things miniature in baking (it’s just so much cuter), it also works well to stop GB and I devouring an entire large pudding all to ourselves. As we both work freelance, there’s no respective offices to palm my bakes onto when we’ve had enough so individual portions are probably a much more sensible option for us.

Three fall pie recipes, Bumpkin BettyAnyway, I decided to create three different flavoured pies (or tarts if you will – I couldn’t resist the alliteration of that title) which scream autumn to me, and are helping heraldย the arrival of this wonderful season. Choose your favourite to make in full size, or make a few of each in miniature like me.

Making the Pastry

Mini autumn fruit pie recipes, Bumpkin BettyI used Jamie Oliver’s shortcrust pastry recipe this time, which differs a little from my own in that it uses an egg to bind the dough rather than just water, and icing sugar instead of caster, but it worked really well and was just the right level of sweet and crumbly.


You will need

250g plain flour

50g icing sugar

125g unsalted butter

1 large egg

a splash of milk if needed


How it’s done

Sieve the flour and icing sugar into a bowl and then cut the butter into cubes and add.

Using your hands, work the butter into the flour until you have something that resembles breadcrumbs

Crack an egg into the mix and then bring the dough together with your hands. Try not to overwork it too much but bind it until you have a small lump of dough

Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to roll out

Roll the pastry to a thin 1cm width on a floured surface, grease your baking tin or tart tins and fill the tin with pastry, being careful to push it into the grooves.

Top Tip – if you have nails use the end of a wooden spoon to push your pastry into the grooves – I stole this technique from Candice on the Bake Off! (P.S almost forgot to mention Bake Off – what do we think of the result? I was really pleased, I was rooting for Andrew and Candice from the beginning!)


Classic Bramble and Redberry Pies

Mini bramble pie recipe, Bumpkin Betty


You will need

1 pack of brambles or blackberries and 1 pack of red berries (or any fruit of your choice)

2 tablespoons of sugar

a touch of lemon juice

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How it’s done

Place greaseproof paper over your pastry lined tart tins and fill with baking beans

Blind bake for 10 mins

Put your fruit sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and mush together slightly (I personally like my fruit quite whole but if you prefer it softer, squash them slightly to make a jam like mixture)

Take the baking beans and greaseproof paper off your blind baked tarts and fill with the fruit mixture (I like to fill mine quite high as they go down as they bake)

Decorate the top of your tarts with pastry as you wish. I ended up making a few fruit ones as I couldn’t decide whether to do a leaf pattern top or a lattice one, or a bit of both. But you could also keep things simple and cover the top completely in pastry, just be sure to cut a few slits on top to let the air in. I followed this tutorial for a lattice structure.

Brush the top of your pies with egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for around 20-30 mins (depending on the size) at 200C/ Gas Mark 5 until the top has gone golden brown and the fruit begins to ooze out.

Serve hot with a dollop of cream, custard or ice cream.


Pumpkin Pies

Mini Pumpkin pies, Bumpkin Betty
You will need

250g pumpkin

60g butter softened

100g caster sugar

50ml milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

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How it’s done

Blind bake your pies as above

Boil the pumpkin until soft and then transfer to a bowl and mash with a fork

Add softened butter and mix with an electricย whisk/mixer

Stir in sugar, milk, egg and spices and mix well with the whisk until you have a smooth runny mixture

Pour the mix into your tarts and cook for 20-30 mins (depending on size) at 200C/ Gas Mark 5 until a skewer comes out clean

Dust with icing sugar or cinnamon and serve warm


Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Pies

Indulgent chocolate and caramel pie, Bumpkin Betty
You will need

1 tin of ready made Nestle Carnation caramel (I usually make my own but was being lazy and frankly this is as good as any and saves a lot of time)

Half a block of good quality dark chocolate

Sea Salt

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How it’s done

Blind bake your pies as above but this time remove the beans and greaseproof paper after 1 mins and put back in the oven for another 5 mins to cook the bottom of the pastry

Leave to cool

Pour your caramel into the bottom of the pie case and sprinkle some sea salt flakes on top (not too much!)

Melt the chocolate and pour on top before sprinkling with a tiny bit more sea salt

Leave in the fridge to harden

Eat at room temperature with a cuppa

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The verdict

As much as I love a fruit pie, I have to admit that the pumpkin number won us both over this time – the addition of the cinnamon and nutmeg made a lovely soft and sweet filling and served warm it was delicious. I had some pumpkin mixture left over so have now decided to make a larger version of this and freeze it for another occasion.

A trio of autumn tarts, Bumpkin BettyWhat’s your favourite autumn recipe? If you would like to join the BB Baking Club and bake along with us to a set theme each month (all abilities welcome) then sign up here, join the Facebook Group and follow us on Instagram. Oh and if you do give any of these recipes a go, then be sure to tag #BakewithBB so I can see your creation!

Stay tuned later in the week for a full round up of all the October bakes and an announcement of November’s theme!

 

Emma ·

Such beautiful little pies! I kept scrolling back up to feast my eyes one more time on each gorgeous picture. Good idea as well to make small ones for when it’s just the two of you. I’d been thinking about asking my boyfriend to make his infamous chocolate cake for my birthday, but before I got round to it he brought home one of those nice little Coop ones – with hindsight I’m glad, so we didn’t eat a lifetime’s worth of sugar and butter ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Jaclyn ·

Ah thanks Emma, I actually really enjoyed making them! It’s so tempting to eat giant cakes all to yourself but I just feel guilty afterwards, maybe minis are the way forward! xx

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