Butternut Squash Tartlets

Oops! On November 25, I blogged about Duck Breast Sous-Vide with Duck Red Wine Demi-Glace and promised that my next post would be about the side dish shown on the plate: butternut squash tartlets. Then I got so excited about the homemade Barolo Chinato I had just tried for the first time that I wanted to blog about that straight away and completely forgot about the butternut squash tartlets. So with a bit of delay here is finally the post about butternut squash tartlets…

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The butternut squash tartlets looked great on the plate with the duck, especially garnished with some mostarda di cremona and sage. I made up the recipe as I went, basing it on that of spinach tartlets and leek tartlets. In Italy these are called sformati, which is something like a soufflé but without bothering to try and serve them in their unstable inflated state. Squash and almonds are a classic combination, and so I chose to use almonds in my squash tartlets instead of pine nuts. I based the spice mixture on that of pumpkin pie, so you can almost think of this as pumpkin pie without a crust. It is however savory and the almond gives it some more body and bite.

The stuffing of tortelli di zucca (tortelli stuffed with squash/pumpkin) from the region of Emilia Romagna often contains Mostarda di Cremona. This is a condiment of fruit pickled with mustard from the city of Cremona. It worked very nicely as a garnish for the squash tartlets. It also helps to give them more flavor, as squash/pumpkin do not have a lot of flavor on their own.

Ingredients

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For 6 tartlets

350 grams (1 1/2 cups) butternut squash (or pumpkin) puree, click here for the recipe

2 eggs

25 grams (3 Tbsp) roasted almonds (roasted for 10 minutes at 180ºC/350ºF)

1/4 tsp sugar

60 grams (6 Tbsp) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground coriander

1/8 tsp ground allspice

salt to taste

butter and breadcrumbs (for coating the muffin pan)

Preparation

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Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Combine the almonds and the sugar in the bowl of the food processor.

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Process until coarsely ground.

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Add the squash puree, eggs, spices, and salt.

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Add the grated parmigiano as well.

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Process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt or spices of your choice.

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Butter a muffin tin and coat with breadcrumbs.

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Put the squash mixture into the muffin tin.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180ºC/350ºF until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The sformatini will rise a bit, but they will collapse pretty soon when taken out of the oven.

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It should be fairly easy to remove them from the pan. You can serve them right away, or heat them up later in the muffin pan for 10 minutes in the oven preheated at 180ºC/350ºF.

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Garnish with Mostarda di Cremona if you can find it. (When I run out, I will make my own and post the recipe.)

Flashback


Two years ago I blogged about paccheri alla parmigiana. Paccheri are relatively large tubes of dried pasta from around Naples (smaller than cannelloni but larger than penne), that I stuffed with eggplant, mozzarella, and basil, and then baked in the oven with a tomato sauce. I should probably make this again soon because I still remember it was delicious and the photo I took back then doesn’t really do it justice.

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12 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Tartlets

  1. Also, I should ask you about dining recommendations for an upcoming family trip to Amsterdam! Do you have an email address I can send inquiries to? Or you can send it to me privately at emmycooksblog@gmail.com. Thanks in advance & I’ll return the favor when you’re in Seattle. 🙂

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  2. I would never have thought to use squash in a tartlet. Yours sound wonderful, Stefan, and really does look good plated with your duck. It is so much more impressive than had you served it puréed on that plate.

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  3. I cannot believe you got so excited over the homemade Barolo Chinato that you forgot about these beautiful tartlets. 😮 These are a great side. I may use the concept for a pumpkin tartlet at Christmas as I have a lot of pumpkin puree remaining. 🙂

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