Pumpkin fit for summer


Tender flaky crust with a surprise filling.

I love these tarts!  Pumpkin jam and tarts have been in my family ever since I was a wee little lass.  When I decided to share this recipe with my blog family, I asked my mom about how these tarts came about.  She explained to me that many, many years ago there was an abundance of pumpkin in Guyana and the people were tired of cooking it the same way over and over.  So the local newspapers printed some new ways in which to use pumpkin and these tarts were one of them.   My mom tested the recipe and we all loved it!

I loved pumpkin tart before I even knew or had a bite of pumpkin pie.  This was the only sweetened pumpkin dish I’ve had up until pumpkin pie, so it was new to us but we loved it anyway.   To all my Guyanese who are not familiar with this, if you love pinetarts you will love these!   Usually pumpkin is used in fall or winter dishes but this is very light and has a hint of citrus flavor so I think it will compliment your summer menu at your next picnic.

P.S.  The jam is delicious and great with fresh bread or crackers.

Tiny specs of vanilla bean add a lovely flavor

Pumpkin Jam

2 cup finely shredded West Indian pumpkin/calabaza

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp water

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (extract will be fine also)

Makes about 1 cup jam

Place pumpkin, lemon juice, sugar and water into a pot and stir well.  Over medium heat cook for 50 mins or until pumpkin is tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Allow to cool.

Pumpkin Tarts

1 cup pumpkin jam

1 1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter, cold

1/4 cup shortening

3 tbsp ice cold water

1 egg yolk

2 tsp water

Makes 8-10 tarts

To make Pastry:

Mix flour and salt together in a bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut butter and shortening into flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Add 3 tbsp of water and mix until well combined.  Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 mins before using.

Prepare egg wash but beating egg yolk and water to combine.  Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to 1/8 inch thickness.   I used bowl about 6 inches in diameter  to cut out the circles.   Place about a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin jam in the center.  Brush edge with egg wash and fold over making a half circle.  Press edges with a fork and brush the top with egg wash.  With a knife make two slits across the top to let out steam, this will prevent the pastry from bursting.  On an ungreased cookie sheet, bake for 20 mins or until golden brown.



  1. Damali
    August 11, 2010 / 12:47 pm

    Ahhh, this brings back memories. This has always been one of my absolute favorite desserts. If I wasn’t on a diet, I’d make some lol.

  2. August 11, 2010 / 2:53 pm

    Is it already time for pumpkins again? yay! I love pumpkins and this jam looks so inviting!

  3. August 11, 2010 / 5:37 pm

    Hey, reading your story on how this recipe came about made me realize that a lot of Guyana’s strange recipes came from the people being bored of eating the same thing repeatedly. What a creative people we are. Yum!!!

  4. August 11, 2010 / 9:15 pm

    It is about that time for pumpkins. We’ve never had pumpkin jam. These little tarts sound perfect!

  5. August 13, 2010 / 8:04 pm

    Wow. Those look like fried pies.
    I am so excited by how much they resemble fried pies.
    Except not fried. But still! They look delicious.

  6. August 19, 2010 / 7:18 am

    These tarts are looking absolutely scrumptious! The pumpkin jam filling sounds awesome!

  7. Dianna
    November 21, 2011 / 3:34 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciated finding this recipe. My mother use to make what she called pumpkin tarts (sandwiches) which were a staple in our family. In my day everything was made from scratch. She would make the dough from scratch, roll circles, fill and fold and crimp with a fork… and pumpkin years ago use to be cheap. She would fill a cookie jar and these were like cookies to us. now I can make them
    Thank you
    Dianna in Nevada City, CA.

  8. March 4, 2012 / 1:42 pm

    sent me all recipes plz

  9. Tasha
    June 24, 2013 / 12:13 pm

    Hi Jehan!

    I just wanted to let you know that I love your website! I have made several items from your list of recipes! All turning out amazing! Thank you so much for being so awesome! Having the patience to be so detailed really helps me to make sure that I am doing everything right!

    Just curious, I am going to try to make your recipe for beef patties and I noticed that for the pastry recipe given in your list of ingredients you don’t have salt listed, but in the instructions on how to mix you have salt. So I was wondering do I put salt in the pastry a pinch? Please let me know!
    Thanks so much!

  10. JehanP
    June 25, 2013 / 4:04 pm

    Hi Tasha, it’s just a pinch in the dough, about 1/4 teaspoon. I will correct the error, thanks for spotting it and notifying me and thank you for visiting!

  11. July 23, 2013 / 8:46 pm

    Hi, just wanted to tell you, I liked this article.

    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!