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Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Honey Swiss Meringue

Photo: Jody Horton; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

 

Hands-on time 45 mins
Total time 13 hrs, 10 mins
Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
Begin with a toasted pecan crust, layer with cream cheese and a classic pumpkin filling, and then gild the lily with a creamy meringue.

Ingredients

  • Tart Crust
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 7 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cream Cheese Layer
  • 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon loosely packed orange zest
  • Pumpkin Layer
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • Topping
  • Honey Swiss Meringue

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Tart Crust: Process pecans in a food processor 10 to 12 seconds or until finely ground.

  2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 minute or until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt. Add egg, beating just until blended; stir in vanilla. Stir together flour and processed pecans; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until mixture is no longer crumbly and forms a ball, pulling away from sides of bowl. Press dough on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch deep-dish tart pan with a removable bottom. Chill 1 hour or until firm.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Line crust with aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil; bake 12 to 14 more minutes or until crust is light brown. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Increase temperature to 425°.

  4. Prepare Cream Cheese Layer: Beat cream cheese, sugar, and egg at low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in orange zest. Spread over bottom of crust.

  5. Prepare Pumpkin Layer: Whisk together pumpkin and next 5 ingredients until smooth; pour over cream cheese layer in crust. Cover tart edges with aluminum foil.

  6. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes; reduce temperature to 350°, and bake 45 to 55 more minutes or until a knife inserted in center of pumpkin layer comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 to 12 hours.

  7. Gently blot any moisture that collected on top of tart during chilling with a paper towel. Spread Honey Swiss Meringue over tart. Brown meringue using a kitchen torch, holding torch 1 to 2 inches from meringue and moving torch back and forth.