8 Fruity Fall Desserts

Gone are the breezy days of summer-and all the sorbets, ice cream cakes and fruit salads that go with them. In its place: cooler, cozy nights with fall-minded desserts to match. Embrace the seasonal change by tucking into one of these comforting fruit-filled recipes. From a free-form tart packed with plums to chocolate apple cupcakes, each one offers a bite of autumn's best.

Mile High Pumpkin Meringue Tart Recipe

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves: 10


Pumpkin pie is an irresistible fall classic; here, a new dimension is added with a few simple additions, including adding molasses to the filling and finishing off the pie with an airy meringue.
Recipe Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

Tart Shell

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp each cold unsalted butter and solid vegetable shortening, cut in bits
  • 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp cold water
Filling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can (15 oz) 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Meringue
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature

Recipe Preparation

1. Lightly butter a 9 x 1-in. tart pan with removable bottom. In food processor, pulse flour, confectioners' sugar and salt to mix. Add butter and shortening; pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour egg mixture over crumbs; pulse until dough starts to clump together. Remove dough from food processor and squeeze together into a ball. Press dough evenly over bottom and up sides of pan, slightly extending about 1/4 in. above the top edge of pan. Freeze shell 30 minutes.

2. Adjust oven rack to bottom third of the oven. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove crust from freezer; line with nonstick foil tightly against bottom, sides and top edge of crust. Place tart pan on baking sheet; bake 25 minutes. Carefully remove foil; return crust to oven 5 minutes (if crust puffs, gently press it down). Cool completely on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

3. Whisk ingredients until blended and smooth; pour into crust. Cover crust edge with foil or pie shields. Bake 50 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

4. In a small, heavy saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil; stir just until sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring, 4 minutes. Meanwhile, in large bowl of stand mixer, beat egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Beating constantly, slowly add hot mixture to whites in a thin, steady stream. When incorporated, increase speed to high and beat meringue until stiff yet billowy glossy peaks form.

5. Heat oven to 425°F. Remove sides of tart pan and place tart on a baking sheet. Loosen bottom of tart pan from crust with an offset spatula; leave pan bottom in place. Starting at edge of crust, spread some meringue over filling, sealing it against the inside edge of the crust and mounding meringue high in center; make decorative swirls in meringue. Bake 5 minutes or until swirls and tips are lightly browned. Let cool. If desired, slide tart off pan bottom onto serving plate.

Prep Tip: Tart can be prepared through Step 3 two days ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and blot surface dry with paper towel before topping with meringue.

Photo: Con Poulos

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Article originally appeared on WomansDay.com.

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