Skip to Content

Pumpkin-Caramel Tart with Hazelnut Crust Recipe

Pumpkin Caramel Tart With Hazelnut Crust
Pumpkin-Caramel Tart with Hazelnut Crust

Pumpkin-Caramel Tart with Hazelnut Crust is like a cross between pumpkin pie and pecan pie. That’s hazelnut brittle decorating the top.

This Pumpkin-Caramel Tart with Toasted Hazelnut Crust is OUTRAGEOUSLY DELICIOUS! It’s like – get ready to have your mind blown – a cross between a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. Before I tried this recipe I didn’t realize that that is what the flavor and texture would remind me of. But traditionally, at my house, I make one of each: one pumpkin pie, and one pecan pie. This one recipe could fill the bill for both pies.

My husband saw the picture first, as he was flipping through my copy of Bon Appétit  magazine. And he looked at me with those Puppy Dog Eyes he knows how to make and said, longingly, “Have you seen this? This sure does look good…” Later that morning, I saw he’d sent me an email…with a link to the PIE RECIPE inside it. The Great Pie Campaign continued.

One thing I’ve learned in life from Reba McIntire is: “Just be nice to the Gentleman, Fancy, and he’ll be nice to you.” OK, I generally don’t look to Reba’s songs to provide me with life-coaching, but I have found it to be true that there are benefits to pleasing those we love.

Pumpkin-Caramel Tart with Hazelnut Crust

A close-up of Mr. Hazlenut Brittle. Hello, Handsome.

So I pinned the recipe to a Pinterest board, and resolved to try it when the opportunity presented itself. And finding a new pie recipe for Midlife Boulevard seemed to me to be the perfect opportunity.

Pumpkin-Caramel Tart with Hazelnut Crust

You can see the sheen of the sugar on top, like what you get in a pecan pie, or a crème brulée.

It didn’t come together in 5 minutes, but the press-in crust was foolproof, and didn’t take as long as I feared it might. In addition, it has the lovely appeal of being a pie that can be made in advance and chilled up to 2 days ahead of time, getting the dessert recipe out of the way. I can testify that the leftovers were still delicious, a couple of days later.

Pumpkin-Caramel Tart with Toasted Hazelnut Crust and Hazelnut Brittle Topping


For the Crust:

1 1/4 c. hazelnuts (divided after toasting)
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into pieces
3 or 4 tbsp. of ice water

For the Filling:

1 pinch of cream of tartar
1 1/4 c. sugar, divided
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. canned pumpkin purée
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsbp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs, whisked

NOTE: I used an 11 1/2″ ceramic tart dish, but you could also use a 9″ springform pan. If you use a 9″ pan, lean toward the longer baking time, but baking times are approximate, and dependent on your oven and pan. Check to see that your pie barely jiggles in the center, then you’ll know that it’s done.



Preheat oven to 350º. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and slightly darkened – about 8 minutes. Let cool. It’s important to let the nuts fully cool so they don’t prematurely melt the butter bits in your crust.

Pulse flour, sugar, salt, and 3/4 c. hazelnuts in a a food processor until the consistency of coarse meal, reserving 1/2 hazelnuts for topping of tart. Add butter to dry ingredients and pulse until there are only a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl; drizzle 3 tbsp. ice water over and mix, adding more water if needed, but just enough to bring dough together. (Mine needed about 1 tbsp. more.)

Using your fingers, press dough evenly 1 1/2-2″ up the sides of your tart pan, and then into the bottom of the pan; you can use a metal or glass measuring cup or something with a large, round flat surface to help you press the crust to a nice even base for the filling. Chill 20 minutes.

Bake crust until golden, but not totally baked through, 15 or 20 minutes. Mine needed closer to 20 minutes, but use your eyes (look for the golden color) and your sense of smell to tell you that the crust is smelling good. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

For the Filling:

Meanwhile, bring cream of tartar, 1 c. sugar (reserving the other 1/4 c. for the topping) and 2 tbsp. water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium high and cook, swirling pan occasionally (do not stir), until caramel is the amber color of a slightly aged copper penny, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisking constantly, CAREFULLY add cream using a whisk with a long handle. The mixture will be extremely hot and will bubble and emit steam, vigorously. Whisk until smooth. Let caramel cool for several minutes in pot. (Be sure to let it cool as you don’t want the eggs to cook immediately when you add them.)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk pumpkin purée, brown sugar, flour, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add caramel and eggs, whisking until well blended. Scrape filling into prepared crust.

Bake tart, rotating halfway through, until filling is set around edges and center barely jiggles, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan.

For hazelnut brittle topping:

Meanwhile, while tart is baking, coarsely chop reserved 1/2 c. of hazelnuts and cook in a small skillet over medium heat with remaining 1/4 c. sugar and 1 tbsp. water, stirring constantly, until sugar caramelizes and evenly coats hazelnuts. Transfer caramelized hazelnuts to a sheet of parchment paper let cool completely. Coarsely chop.

Scatter hazelnut brittle over tart, and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Do Ahead: Tart, without brittle topping, can be made 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Hazelnut brittle can be made 2 days ahead, as well. Store it in an airtight container, at room temperature. Top the tart with the chopped brittle before serving.

Susan Williams

Susan Williams writes about food, faith, and fun at ”That Susan Williams”. She loves to share her passion for great food, simply and beautifully prepared, and only shares recipes she deems to be “the best of the best”. Susan is ably assisted by her talented food photographer husband, who isn’t quitting his day job as a music producer for the fame and fortune of blogging just yet. Susan is a born storyteller. Find Susan on Instagram: susanwilliams

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle Plus


Wednesday 25th of November 2015

I'm baking this now, but I'm wondering if it will set, as my filling was liquid--I poured it into the crust, rather than scraped it, as the directions said. What did I do wrong? Perhaps I didn't let the caramel cool enough? I double-checked my measurements and they were correct.

Susan Williams

Friday 27th of November 2015

Dana, I poured mine in, too, but you do nudge and scrape it along to pour it in. I hope it had cooled sufficiently, and would assume it had a certain amount of thickness. Hope it turned out well!

Judy Freedman

Thursday 19th of November 2015

Susan, this sounds delicious. So many pies I want to make for Thanksgiving. Have to make a decision on which two I will bake soon.

Susan Williams

Thursday 19th of November 2015

Thank you, Judy! It was delicious, and I hope you try it!

Comments are closed.
Read previous post:
Science of Parenthood: The Book