Pumpkin tart 

Pumpkin is a very versatile ingredient and combines extremely well with warm spices. With this recipe you are bound to have a bit of roast pulp leftover, which can be frozen for a future tart, blended into a soup or used as a simple spread to substitute butter on toast, with an extra dash of honey and toasted almonds for a super healthy breakfast.

|| Crust
125 grams cold salted butter
90 grams brown sugar
1 egg, whisked
250 grams all purpose flour

|| Filling
500 grams roast pumpkin pulp
100 grams cream
150 grams brown sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch lemon zest
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon powdered cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Greek yoghurt and honey for topping

For the crust: mix the flour and sugar, crumble the cold butter into the flour mix with a food processor, a fork or, in last case scenario, your hands (the heat melts the butter, which is responsible for providing crumbly texture). Incorporate the egg, knead just enough until the dough doesn’t stick. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Stretch the dough on a floured surface and line the tart pan. Refrigerate for another half-an-hour, this keeps the dough from shrinking. Blind bake with dry beans, chickpeas or rice in a medium sized tart pan (so the dough stays thin and doesn’t rise) at 190ºC for 10 minutes.

For the filling: Roast at least 1.5kg of pumpkin in quarters with a dash of olive oil and honey, peel on as it is much easier to spoon the pulp out after roasted. Depending on the pumpkin or squash you choose, water content will vary, so to be sure your tart doesn’t end up liquid and soggy, make sure to squeeze the excess liquid with a cheese cloth or a strainer and kitchen towel. Purée the pulp with remaining ingredients in a blender. Pour the pumpkin mix into the pre-baked tart base and bake at 190ºC for 10 minutes before reducing the oven temperature to 165ºC. Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is set. An easy trick is to slightly shake the pan and if the filling stays put then it’s ready. Do not cook longer than this as it will cause the filling to crack because of the over-coagulation of present proteins.

Serve with a spoonful of fresh Greek yoghurt and honey.

By Megan Melling

Megan Melling’s journey into the food world started three years ago when she decided to enrol in Cookery and Food Production in Portugal. She was born American, but grew up in the Algarve, so she gets the best of two opposite culinary cultures. She is currently working as a cook in Lisbon and documenting all of her personal recipes on her blog www.melsvittles.wordpress.com