After missing last month’s Secret Recipe Club due to… let’s just say that sharp things and I have a chequered history… I’m thrilled to be back this month! For March, I was assigned the stunning chitchatchomp, where Leigh blogs about food, health, life and more, and illustrates her posts with the most divine photographs.
After bookmarking a dozen things from Leigh’s baking page, I headed over the her vegetarian recipes page in my eternal search for dinner ideas. Struck by so many wonderful things, I had almost settled on her green veggie tart but scrolled a bit further and found this beautiful pumpkin tart. It’s nearing the end of pumpkin season and I had to grab one last chance to make something new with one of our favourite vegetables!
Leigh served her tart with mushrooms piled on top, but as we have a family member who is allergic to them, I instead doubled the leeks for serving.
My tart filling turned out a bit softer than it looks in Leigh’s pictures… but I used more pumpkin without adding more egg, so I put her original quantity here.
Makes 1 x 30cm (12″) tart
Serves 4 – 8
Preparation: about 60 minutes
Baking: 45 minutes
700g (1 1/2 lbs) pumpkin or winter squash
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
shortcrust pastry (I used store-bought)
40g (3 Tbsp) unsalted butter
1 large leek, white part only
3 cloves garlic
60ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
300ml (1 1/4 cups) whole cream
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
good pinch dried thyme
2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
125g (1 cup) grated Gruyère cheese
Double the leek and wine and save half for serving.
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4, and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Peel the pumpkin and chop into chunks, spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in centre of oven for about 25 minutes, until soft. Set aside to cool.
Grease a 30cm (12″) quiche dish, line with the pastry and prick all over the bottom with a fork. Line the pastry with parchment and fill with dry rice or beans or with pie weights. Blind bake for 10 minutes, then remove weights and paper, then bake for another 5 minutes, until the pastry is dry. Set aside to cool.
Wash and slice the leek thinly, and finely chop the garlic.
Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan over medium-low heat, add the leek and garlic and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until softened.
Add the wine to the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool a little.
In a large food processor or a bowl with a stick blender, combine the pumpkin, leek mixture (after reserving half for serving, if desired), cream, eggs and yolk, thyme and parsley, and pulse until smooth.
Stir in the grated Gruyère and nutmeg, and season to taste.
Pour the filling carefully into the pastry shell (it will probably be quite full), return the dish to the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until set and golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of dry white wine, a green salad and a slice of crusty bread.
See what everyone else made this month!