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Originally published Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 12:00 AM

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Recipe: Pumpkin Tart with Gingersnap Crust

Serves 10

Crust:

- ½ cup butter

- ½ cup powdered sugar

- 1 ½ cups flour

- ½ cup fine gingersnap crumbs

-2 tablespoons water

- ½ teaspoon vanilla

- Nonstick cooking spray

Filling:

- 4 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature

- 1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin

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- 2 eggs

- ½ cup sugar

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1 teaspoon ground ginger

- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping:

- 1 ¼ cups whipping cream

-2 tablespoons powdered sugar

- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

- Optional: 2 tablespoons minced sugared or candied ginger (See Kitchen Note)

1. To prepare the crust: Combine butter and powdered sugar in a food processor until creamy. Add the flour, gingersnap crumbs, water and vanilla. Process until the dough starts to hold together. (It does not need to form a ball.)

2. Spray a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray. Press the dough into the pan and freeze for 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. Pierce the bottom with a fork in several places. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 25 minutes. Cool on a rack.

3. To prepare the filling: Combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour into the crust and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Remove the sides of the pan and place on a plate. Cover loosely and refrigerate.

4. To prepare the topping: Whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spoon into a pastry bag and pipe rosettes over the entire surface of the tart. (Or simply swirl the cream on top with a knife.) Sprinkle with the sugared ginger, if desired, and serve.

Times Kitchen Note: Sugared ginger can usually be found in the Asian food section of major grocery stores.

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