Tahini Pumpkin Pie
For the chocolate pie crust
1/2 c butter
1/3 c water
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
For the tahini and pumpkin pie
1 15-oz can pumpkin purée
1/2 c Seed + Mill Organic Tahini, plus more for the swirl
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 c whole milk
Whipped cream or creme fraîche, for serving
1. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch chunks and place into the freezer along with the 1/3 c of water to keep chill.
2. In a food processor, pulse to combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Add in the chilled butter and pulse 5-6 more times until the butter breaks down into pea-sized pieces. With the food processor running, stream in the water. The dough should look a bit crumbly at first but become damp enough so that when pressed together with your fingers, it holds its shape.
3. Remove the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap to assist you, press the dough into a disk. Wrap tightly and chill for at least one hour.
4. When ready to bake, dust a work surface with flour. Roll the dough into a 12-inch round. It should be large enough so that there is at least a 1-inch border surrounding a 9-inch pie pan when inverted over top of the dough. Use a paring knife to trim the dough of any excess. Place the dough into the pie pan leaving the extra dough to hang over the sides. Tuck the edges under the dough and crimp the sides. Let the dough chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
5. Preheat oven to 425 °F.
6. In a food processor combine into a purée the pumpkin, tahini, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. Scrape down the sides and run the food processor once more. This time, while slowly streaming in the milk. Once all the milk has been incorporated and the pie filling has become creamy and smooth, pour the mixture into the pie crust.
7. Use a spoon to drop 4 small blobs of tahini into the pumpkin mix and use the back of a clean spoon to swirl the tahini through the pumpkin mix and create whatever design you think looks good.
8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, and lower the heat to 350 °F and continue to bake for 35 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack until completely cool.
9. Once completely cool, slice the pie and serve each portion with a dollop of whipped cream or creme fraîche.
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Alison Roman's Sugar Plum Galette with Halva
The halva here is subtle, but adds a welcomed nutty flavor and tender texture on top of the flaky crust, and beneath the jammy fruit, lending it a not-not peanut butter and jelly quality. It's also lending its talents as a sweetener (meaning less granulated sugar on your fruit), and also providing something for those juices to sink into as the fruit bakes, which leaves you with a never-soggy bottom