Start with a sugar pumpkin...
The I Heart Cooking Club is taking a page from the cooking show challenges this week. Pick your three ingredients from the contents of the Mystery Box and work through one of our chefs' recipes to fulfill the challenge. My choice? Pumpkin, spinach, and eggs ... so, what do you think?
Finish with a gorgeous tart ...
I am ALWAYS a sucker for a good pie. This savory tart was already bookmarked in one of my Diana Henry cookbooks ... and since we had our first taste of winter snow this week, and since I had a pretty sugar pumpkin left over from our Halloween celebrations and since it's Saturday and a baking day ... well, it was a natural.
Diana Henry stipulates Gorgonzola cheese in this tart, but what can I say? Gorgonzola cheese was not in the larder, but Fontina was. In retrospect, I think I would leave off the Fontina and go for a smoked Gouda or the blue cheese next time. AND ... I would decrease the amount of cheese and concentrate on the pumpkin and spinach flavours more. Otherwise, this is a tart that is lush and full of good vegetable flavour! Great flaky crust, a full measure of both spinach and pumpkin bites, and a rich egg custard ... this is NOT a dish for the calorie-conscious! Just look at that list of ingredients!
Pumpkin Tart with Spinach and Gorgonzola
Makes 1 large 10" tart or 6 small individual tarts
2 c. al-purpose flour
¾ c. cold butter
A generous pinch of salt
Cold water enough to bind the dough ( about 5 tbsp.)
1 lb. pumpkin, peeled and chopped into slices
Olive oil for drizzling on pumpkin
1 lb. fresh spinach, washed and stems pinched off
2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
1 ¼ c. heavy cream
2 oz. Parmesan cheese coarsely grated
three pinches nutmeg
7 oz. Gorgonzola, blue cheese, or smoked
Optional: a handful of toasted pepitas for sprinkling atop the tart
Making the Tart:
- Place the flour and salt in a bowl and cut in the cold butter to pea-sized bits.
- Add enough ice water to make a shaggy dough that just clings together.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill while you roast the pumpkin and prep the spinach.
- Place the prepped pumpkin on a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper and roast uncovered in a 350 °F ( I used a 375 degree oven) for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin slices are just tender. Remove, cool, and cut into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.
- Place the prepped spinach in a fry pan over medium high heat and cover. Wilt in just the water that clings to the washed spinach leaves for about 2 minutes. Toss around a couple times and re-cover. Remove from the heat when wilted. Cool before using.
- Beat the eggs, cream, Parmesan cheese, and season generously with salt, black pepper, and one pinch of the nutmeg.
- Roll out the chilled tart dough and line a large tart pan (10 inches). Line with foil and place pie beads in the tart shell. Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights, prick the lower crust and continue baking for another five to ten minutes or until the crust is crispy and golden.
- Remove and cool slightly.
- To assemble the tart, squeeze the moisture from the spinach and break it up, placing it in the bottom of the tart shell. Add a pinch of nutmeg and a bit of salt.
- Layer in the pumpkin chunks, another pinch of nutmeg, and the broken bits of Gorgonzola (or your cheese of choice). Pour the egg custard over all. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Transfer to the 375° oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the tart is set and golden on the top.
- Remove and cool for ten minutes before cutting/serving.
Note: I toasted some pepitas and sprinkled them atop the tart for a nice finished look.
... shared with the members of the I Heart Cooking Club and all who stop in for a visit ...