Pumpkin Tart and Brioche: Because Everything Is Beautiful at the Ballet

Today I have a pumpkin pas de deux. As elegant a moment as you will ever see here at SippitySup. Because, as promised, I am presenting Thanksgiving standards in two ways every day. And I know you know that pumpkin is the Thanksgiving Gold Standard!

Now if you are unfamiliar with the pas de deux, let me enlighten you. In ballet, a pas de deux (French, step/dance for two) is a duet in which ballet steps are performed together. Popular pas de deux appear both in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. There was even a gorgeously animated outer space pas de deux in the movie WALL‑E. It was every bit as stunning and thematically correct as any I have ever seen on stage.  So who says robots can’t be artists?

Of course the obvious thing about a pas de deux is it takes two. I could have said it takes two to tango because in fact a tango is a form of the pas de deux, with out some of the rigid standards the ballet version requires.

pas de deuxBut I chose the term pas de deux for a very good reason. That reason being my partner in this adagio is the ever-graceful Josie from Daydreamer Desserts. One look at her elegant and sophisticated offerings and you too will be begin to understand why they say: “Everything is beautiful at the ballet. Graceful men lift lovely girls in white…”

Well Sup! may be a graceful man, but I am going to leave the heavy lifting to Josie in this particular pumpkin pas de deux, because she is an expert when it comes to sweets (and I just play one on the typing TV). So to keep the integrity intact I must defer to her talents on one of today’s Thanksgiving Double-Takes. But more from Josie and her solo variation on the adagio in a moment.

Because in a classical pas de deux the man is required to perform a solo variation on the adagio himself. And as I am the choreographer as well as the performer I have decided to have my section of ballon and batterie come first.

I have made a rather sophisticated variation on the ubiquitous pumpkin pie that stretches the expectation in true tendu style. Because it is a tart with the unexpected soubresaut of chocolate.

chocolate lined tart shellThe chocolate is mixed in with the pumpkin custard creating a marvelously velvety pas de deux of it’s own. But the chocolate also appears melted onto the unfilled tart shell and spread around the insides creating a hard chocolate lining. I read about this method in Martha Stewart Living and immediately knew I would incorporate it into every pumpkin pie or tart that ever left my kitchen. Because the thing that really turns me off pumpkin pie is the way it weeps moisture once refrigerated. But pumpkin pies are best when cold so this moisture always seems to cause a problem, especially on the crust. A paper towel can take care of the surface of the pie but until I discovered this method I never could figure a way to keep the crust from getting wet!  Voila! Tour l’en air, with no plié. A chocolate shell to protect the crust before the filling goes in! Click here to get a printable recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Tart.

My grand pas d’action may seem le triomphe de l’amour, but pumpkin pie briochein ballet we often save the pièce de résistance for the ballerina– la prima ballerina in this case. Because Josie blows my pie right off the stage. To quote Josie “If there is anything you take away from these two posts is that Brioche dough is very versatile and very tasty and with a little planning ahead you can whip up a number of tasty treats.” Well she was not kidding because she brought down the house here at SippitySup with her Pumpkin Pie Brioche and she still had time to jeté from one foot to the other and land gracefully. Ending with a port de bras of the arms and  Pumpkin Pie Brioche Croissants filled with Dark Chocolate.

As these master moves are the sole property of Daydreamer Desserts I want you to click on over en cours de ballet and see these beautiful recipes for yourself.

Brava! Brava Josie, Brava!


Greg Henry