Pumpkin Ricotta Tarts with Praline Pecans & Pepitas

We love pumpkin chiffon pie, and make it every year, but this year we did a little switch up and made it with whipped ricotta instead of meringue and whipped cream. What a treat! It is kind of like a cross between a chiffon pie and a cheesecake, much lighter than regular pumpkin pie, but not quite as airy as a true chiffon. We made cute little individual tartlets on crispy graham cracker crusts and topped everything with those fabulous praline pecans & pepitas. Dessert anyone?

Have you tried whipped ricotta? It is super easy to do and it works so well in both savory and sweet dishes. Serve it with a little drizzle of honey with toasted country bread, or work it into your next roasted mushroom dish. A dollop would be amazing on creamy mushroom soup!

But, back to the pumpkin tarts … make the crust, filling and praline nuts ahead of time, but don’t fill the tarts until two hours before serving. You want to keep the crust nice and crispy. The recipe can be made in several stages too, since you first make the pumpkin custard and then chill it before folding in the whipped ricotta.

Be sure to use non-stick tart pans. Even then, we sprayed the bottom with cooking spray to make removal from the pans as easy as possible! You can also serve them right in the tart pans, which is the easiest of all! So don’t fret over it, just do what is easiest in the moment!

Pumpkin Ricotta Tarts with Pecan-Pepita Pralines

Light and airy pumpkin tarts made with whipped ricotta and served with praline pecans and pepitas
Servings 10 Tartlets
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs

Equipment

  • 10 mini nonstick tart pans

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted

Pumpkin Ricotta Pie Filling

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (1 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin purée, or fresh pumpkin cooked and puréed
  • 2 lightly beaten egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta, whipped until fluffy and smooth, divided
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Spray the bottoms and sides of the tart pans with cooking spray.
  • Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir until well-incorporated. Pat mixture in the bottom of each of the mini tart pans.
  • Place the tart pans on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or just until the crust begins to turn slightly brown. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Pumpkin Ricotta Pie Filling

  • Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and gelatin in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat just until the mixture comes to a boil and the gelatin is dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator until the custard is cold partially and set.
  • Meanwhile, place the ricotta and milk in the bowl of your standing mixer and beat until light and fluffy, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add maple syrup and vanilla and continue to whip until incorporated.
  • Gently fold whipped ricotta into the pumpkin custard and stir until blended. Refrigerate this mixture until ready to assemble the tarts.

Assembling Tarts

  • When ready to assemble, spoon pumpkin filling evenly into each of the tart pans with the graham cracker crust. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Spoon a dollop of reserved whipped ricotta on top of each tart and garnish with praline pecans & pepitas. See recipe link above and in notes below for the praline pecans & pepitas.

Notes

You can take several directions with these tartlets. You can use our regular pumpkin chiffon pie and use just a dollop of whipped ricotta on top, if you prefer a more traditional chiffon pie! This will be sweeter and more light and fluffy.  Or you can simply make regular pumpkin pie filling and serve with whipped ricotta. Any which way, the key here is the whipped ricotta! Soooooo good!
You can make the praline pecans & pepitas several days ahead, but be sure to hide them!

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