“Those aren’t pillows”….

Planes, Trains and Automobiles was one of John Hughes non-teenage based movies. Two men stuck together trying to get home for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
Because I am extra lazy today….here is the plot from Wikpedia.

“Steve Martin plays the tightly wound Neal Page, a bundle-of-nerves advertising executive. John Candy portrays the innocent and well-meaning, but accident-prone and somewhat feckless, Del Griffith (Director of Sales, American Light and Fixture, Shower Curtain Ring Division), a shower curtain ring salesman who seems to live in a world governed by a different set of rules from those governing Neal Page’s marketing life.

The movie follows the story of Neal Page as he tries to return to his family for Thanksgiving in Chicago after being on a business trip in New York. The journey is doomed from the outset, with Del Griffith interfering by inadvertently snatching the taxi cab that Page had hailed for himself. The two inevitably pair up later and begin an absurdly error-prone adventure to help Page get back to his home. Their flight from JFK Airport to O’Hare is diverted to Wichita due to a blizzard in Chicago, which ends up dissipating only a few hours after touchdown in Kansas. When every mode of transport (including a train and a rental car) fails them, what should have been a 1 hour and 45 minute New York-to-Chicago flight turns into a three-day adventure.

Neal frequently blows up at Del, blaming him for much of their misfortunes. Del in turn regards Neal as pretentious and uptight, while Del is less afraid to be himself. After much heated argument between the two men, a bond between them forms, and Neal finally manages to overcome his self-centeredness and both men pull together to finally make their way home.

Under the assumption that Del has a wife and family of his own (he frequently mentions his wife Marie and puts a framed picture of her on his various motel nightstands), Neal is taken aback when he later pieces together things Del said to realize that Del is alone. He goes back to the train station where he had left Del and sees Del sitting alone, inside an empty station, after they finally make it back to Chicago. Del tells Neal that Marie actually died eight years ago and that he’s been homeless ever since. The bond between the two men strengthens further when Neal invites him into his home for Thanksgiving.”

It’s a very funny movie and sweet at the same time…well, at the end.

My favorite moment is when they are driving their car that has been burnt to a crisp (one of the many mishaps along the way). They get pulled over and the officer asks them if they “feel this car is safe for highway travel?” They reply yes. The officer disagreed. My parents used to give me crap about my one car. It had been hit several times by various people, the last was when a semi truck back up over the front of it. It still drove. But my parents always joked and used that line on me. :)

Since the whole idea of the movie was to get back to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving dinner, I thought making a more Fall/Thanksgiving dessert was in order. I didn’t want to do the traditional pumpkin pie, so there are no pumpkin pie spices in this. Just honey. Which that flavor comes through nicely. I really, really LOVED this. The flavors were so yummy. It made me want Fall to be here even more.

Honey-Pumpkin Meringue Tart

Tart Crust:
3 cups finely ground Vanilla Wafers (most of the box)
4 TBSP brown butter
3 tsp cinnamon sugar (or ½ tsp cinnamon and 3 tsp sugar)

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix until completely combined and you can press the crumbs into a shape with your hands. If you can not, add  more butter, 1 tsp at a time.
Using your hands press the crust mixture into the bottom of the tart molds (or tart rings depending on what you are using). Gently work the crumbs up the sides of the mold and press them together to form edges for the crust. I got nine 3-inch diameter tart rings. You can use mini or make one large tart. If using mini, place on baking sheets.
Bake at 325F for 6 minutes if using mini, 8 minutes if doing full size.
Let cool.

Honey-Pumpkin Mixture:

2 cups canned pumpkin (make sure it is not pumpkin pie mixture)
3 ounces brown butter
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup honey
5 eggs
dash of salt

Using a mixer or food processor mix together the pumpkin, butter, vanilla extract, whipping cream, honey, salt, and condensed milk. Mix until completely incorporated.
Add eggs one at a time. Scrape down bowl after each addition.
Pour pumpkin mixture to just before the top of the tart shell.
Bake at 325F for 12 minutes. Rotate pan.
Bake another 10-12 minutes. You want it to be set but not brown on top.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Let tarts cool completely.
You can refrigerate them at this point but don’t put the meringue on until you are about to serve.

5 egg whites, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar

Set a large, perfectly clean metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Pour in the egg white and sugar. Heat the egg whites and sugar while whisking constantly until the sugar melts and there are no visible grains in the meringue. Take a little meringue mixture and rub it between your fingers to make sure all sugar grains have melted. Remove the meringue from over the simmering water and whip it with a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on low speed for 5 minutes; increase the speed to high and beat 5 minutes longer, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

Meringue recipe from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather
Top tarts with spoonfuls (or pipe) meringue onto the baked tart. Caramelize with a blow torch and serve immediately.

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  1. Your pictures are one big tease! Esp. #3, because it looks like it is sitting right in front of me, ready for me to take a bite. But in all seriousness, looking forward to making this in the fall. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  2. So tempting! That tart looks so exquisite!



  3. Well… That looks AMAZING! I am bookmarking it now… I want to marry it too! ;)

  4. It’s so good to have you bake with all the fab bakes!

  5. I didn’t realize that was a John Hughes movie – so funny! I think I’ve seen it three or four times over the years. Thanks for the intel and evoking funny memories for me so early in the morning!

    Oh yeah: your tart looks pretty damn good!

  6. Aw, although I will miss summer when fall comes, desserts like this make it better! The pie looks great :D

  7. I could gaze at this dessert all day long with those meringue pillows.

  8. Ah ha ha ha! Best movie line ever! I have to buy that DVD; it’s comic genius! Just like this tart is baking genius!

  9. Love this one! I’m going to have to bookmark this for the holidays. My mom is allergic to cinnamon, so she never gets to taste any of the pumpkin or pecan pies. These tarts are perfect for her!

  10. This looks delicious! I’ll have to keep it in mind for fall!

  11. I’m loving you reminding us of all these moments in these wonderful movies. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen PT&A but I do remember quite a few of the lines.

  12. Pumpkin and honey sounds like such a tasty combination – yum!

  13. I love your tributes to John Hughes! My husband is continually alarmed at how often my sister mother and I watch 16 Candles and The Breakfast Club, etc., and recite it verbatim. And these look absolutely delicious!

  14. Your post got me excited for fall! I love the honey/pumpkin combo!

  15. Wow! That looks soo good! I love pumpkin. Makes me excited for fall too!

  16. When I first saw your pictures, the meringue reminded me of the marshmallows on top of the sweet potato casserole my mom always makes for Thanksgiving. Gives me an idea . . .

  17. Would you believe I’ve never had pumpkin pie in my life? Haha…I don’t know if they even sell canned pumpkin here. But I love pumpkin (and condensed milk!) and I’m sure I would love this too :)

  18. I like when he jokes about how the radio still works…haha.

    This tart is starting to make me dream of Fall. I can’t wait for it to get here! Fall in NY is the best:)

  19. Not being a native N. American, I care little for pumpkin pie. There’s something… off about the texture. But this… cream AND condensed milk? Oh Peabody, I fear you may convert me! (p.s. Imagining it with runny dulce de leche in place of condensed milk. Huh? HUH??)

  20. oh, fall time…i miss you too. thanks peabody ;)

  21. I love looking at all your pictures, but most of all reading your stories. Thank you for sharing.

  22. I laughed out loud when I read the title of this post. I love that movie and we use that line a lot around here. Gorgeous fall tart!

  23. Hot damn, Peabody! You never fail to amuse (and appetize) me. Honestly I hadn’t considered a honey-pumpkin combo before but it sounds pretty amazing.

  24. Thankyou for the first official pumpkin post! Fall is surely on the way.

  25. What a yummy idea!
    One of my favorite lines from that extremely quotable movie is when they are on the freeway–going the wrong way. A lady tries yelling out her window at them. “You’re going the wrong way, you’re going to kill somebody!!!” And Del says laughing, “How does she know where we’re going?” Sigh. Love. that. movie! I’ll miss John H. as much as I already miss John Candy.

  26. Wow…pumpkin and browned butter ina vanilla wafer crust…sounds delish!

  27. I’ve been dreaming about fall all week. Saw butternut squash in the grocery store – that didn’t help. And this dessert makes me want it even more!

  28. That pie looks just brilliant! i’ve never had a pumpkin pie but have always wanted to try one…

  29. you make such beautiful desserts

  30. Love the addition of the meringue clouds on top of the pumpkin pie, it makes it really special.

  31. OOOH that is gorgeous. I LOVE PUMPKIN!!!

  32. I have never baked with pumpkin, and I know I’m missing something great, Pea. Love how delicate the crust looks.

  33. Love this idea… All too often, pumpkin pies just taste like spices and not actually pumpkin. I’ll have to try this with maple syrup.

  34. OH! That looks so yummy!

    Love your blog!

  35. This is my favourite John Hughes tribute recipe yet – yum!

  36. In the same time looks funny and yummy! Love it!

  37. Wow these look incredible! Perfect autumn pumpkin food.

  38. i would really love this, too. looks and sounds wonderful!

  39. Ahhh a dessert that says fall! Looks amazing and I can’t wait for more fall inspired desserts popping up!

  40. Hi,im trying to modify your meringue.Can i freeze it?Will it get mashmallowy and creamy?


  1. […] to cool. He did the shell-filling honors while I made the meringue (which I cooked a bit, following Peabody’s excellent suggestion; I used half a cup of sugar for two egg whites, which is slightly less sugar than Peabody calls for […]

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