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Dinner Tonight! | The Lighter Side

New Angles on the Old Holiday Pumpkin Pie


For me, pumpkin pie is a must at Thanksgiving. But traditional pumpkin pie has a high-calorie crust and a rich filling of eggs, butter and cream.

To keep pie on my holiday menu, I reduced its fat and calories two ways. First, I turned my family recipe into a rectangular tart. This way, you can get 12 nice slices, giving you a smaller amount of crust per serving than the typical pie, which can have 400 calories and more than 20 grams of fat per serving. That allowed me to still use lard for rich flavor. Then, for the filling, I used nonfat egg substitute and nonfat half-and-half.

It's often the first few bites that really count when you're eating something sweet. Though these servings might be smaller, the traditional pie flavor is there. You can have your tart and eat it too.


Placemat from Sur La Table stores.

Pumpkin Tart

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup lard

2 tablespoons ice water

1/2 cup nonfat egg substitute (equivalent to 2 eggs)

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup nonfat half-and-half

2 tablespoons butter

Cinnamon sticks, for garnish


Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

For the tart crust, stir together the flour and salt in a bowl. Work in the lard until the dough resembles small pea-size pieces. Drizzle the ice water over the dough. Lightly mix until all the dough is moistened and it forms a ball. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface in a rectangular shape to fit a 13x4-inch nonstick tart pan. Lift the dough up with a rolling pin onto the top of the tart pan and then ease the dough into the pan, pressing it onto the bottom and sides. Press the dough against the top of the tart pan to cut off the edges evenly. Set it aside while you prepare the filling.

Stir together the egg substitute, pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Heat the half-and-half until hot, and add the butter. Stir the hot half-and-half into the pumpkin mixture until blended.

Pour the filling into the tart shell. Smooth the top of the filling. Tap the tart pan on the counter to help settle the filling. The filling will be right to the edge of the tart.

Bake the tart 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until the filling is set, 35 minutes more. Cool the tart on a wire rack. When ready to serve, remove the tart from the pan and place it on a rectangular serving dish. Garnish with a few pieces of cinnamon stick. Cut the tart crosswise into 12 slices and serve.


12 servings. Each serving: 173 calories; 329 mg sodium; 11 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.75 gram fiber.

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