It is officially pumpkin time. These little babies that I have been watching grow while walking the dog have now been harvested and are sitting in big crates waiting to go to the market.
The Washer Up bought some pastry home from the restaurant saying it was the best pastry he’d ever made. It was an Austrian pastry recipe he used for a Viennese menu they had on Wednesday, he made a gorgeous quiche and had some pastry left over so he told me I had to use it because it was amazing.
Seeing the pumpkins had been harvested and coming across (and smelling) these goat’s and sheep while we were walking made me think about the combination of sweet roasted pumpkin and sour goat’s cheese. That’s my kind of sweet and sour, the flavours work so well together and I had seen a recipe for Squash, Carrot & Goat’s Cheese Tartlets in the Ottolenghi Cookbook. The perfect way to show off The Washer Up’s divine pastry…..
I made one big tart but you could make little individual ones if you are entertaining and have enough tins, it looks a bit more special. But I love the rustic look of a whole tart on the table it is more generous and informal.
The pumpkin is roasted before it is put in the tart which really brings out the natural sweetness. In this recipe there is a carrot relish which is spread over the base of the tart before adding the pumpkin and goat’s cheese. To save time you could leave this out but it does add another layer of tart sweetness that takes it to another level.
Pumpkin, Carrot & Goat’s Cheese Tart
Serves 4-6, vegetarian. Adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook
For the pastry: Makes enough for 2 x 9 or 10 inch tarts. From an Austrian recipe
- 300 gr plain flour plus extra for dusting
- 150 gr butter
- 80 gr curd cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- a pinch of salt
Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until a ball of dough forms. Cut in half, make into two flat discs, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour.
For the Tart Filling:
Fills 1 x 9 or 10 inch tart
- about 500 gr, pumpkin or squash, cut into 2cm cubes (unpeeled)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt & black pepper
- a pinch of chilli flakes
- fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 180 gr peeled & coursely grated carrots
- 1 leek, halved lengthways, rinsed & finely sliced
- 35 gr brown sugar
- 30 ml white wine vinegar
- 50 ml orange juice
- 150 gr goat’s cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 120 ml goat’s milk (you can use cow’s milk or cream)
- fresh thyme leaves
- 40 gr manchego/parmesan, finely grated
- salt & black pepper
While the pastry is chilling preheat the oven to 190 C. Prepare the pumpkin and place the cubes on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle over the chilli flakes and thyme leaves and season with salt & pepper. Toss everything together with your hands and spread them out again on the tray. Roast for 2o-30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Leave to cool
While the squash is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop add in the grated carrots and leek and cook, stirring for 10 minutes. Then stir in the sugar, vinegar and orange juice, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool.
When the pumpkin is cooked leave the oven on at 190 C. Flour you work surface and rolling-pin and roll out one of the pastry discs to about 3 or 4 mm thick. Butter/oil and flour the inside of your tart tin and tip out the excess flour.
Flour your rolling-pin and lift the pastry on the rolling-pin and place it over the tart tin. Push the pastry down into the tin making sure you don’t stretch it. Leave the excess pastry hanging over the edge. Dock the base of the pastry all over with a fork and place a square of greaseproof paper on top of the pastry case and push it down. Fill with baking beans and bake for about 20 minutes.
Remove the greaseproof and baking beans and return to the oven for 10 minutes until the pastry is slightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. With a sharp knife held flat against the tart tin, slice off the excess pastry.
In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, thyme, grated cheese, salt & black pepper. Spread an even layer of the carrot relish on the base of the tart. Top with an even layer of the pumpkin and then tear/crumble over the goat’s cheese.
Pour over the egg/milk mixture and carefully place in the oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes until set and golden on top.
Leave to cool slightly before serving warm or at room temperature with a rocket or watercress salad.
The pastry is crumbly, short and full of flavour and the filling is perfectly luxurious, definitely worth the effort..
Things That Made Me Smile Today…………..
Rufus enjoying himself in his favourite spot..
We saw a dog behaviourist for the first time yesterday to try to resolve his separation issues. Rufus does not like to be left on his own, he has severe separation anxiety so he barks constantly when we leave him and gets very stressed. Talking to Nando from In the Doghouse yesterday reassured me that his problems can be worked on and there are things we can do.
So over the next few months we will both (me & Rufus) be learning to manage our stress levels and hopefully move towards stopping him barking when we are not here. There’s a lot of changes to be made but I’m optimistic!!
Have a great day!