Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Pumpkin Tart with Parmesan Crust

It has been far too long since my last post; as always my thanks to Lush for holding down the fort in my absence.

Since I last wrote, I have returned to Melbourne and my indulgent / non-gymming / expensive (!!) ways. This recipe epitomises that sentiment using more butter than anything else I've made this year. Having said that, this is probably my most successful batch of pastry ever (pastry is a nemesis of mine). Partly because I actually followed the recipe, but mostly because I used this fantastic rolling pin. This isn't a plug, but a big thank you for this great gift that makes sure my pastry is an even thickness and the right size for the first time ever!

I have taken this recipe from the Australian Gourmet Traveller with a few little tweaks. It does have a long prep time as there are multiple restings of the pastry required, but the crumbly texture is worth it. My suggestion is to pick a rainy day, buy a nice bottle of red (3/4 for you, 1/4 for caramelising the onions) and potter away.

Pumpkin & Goat's Cheese Tart with Parmesan Crust
Serves 8


Tart Filling
  • 750g pumpkin cut into bite size pieces
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 6 thyme sprigs, plus extra to serve
  • 150g goat's cheese (e.g. chevre), coarsely crumbled
  • 40g butter, coarsely chopped
  • 3 onions thinly sliced
  • 150ml red wine (you can use white but I preferred the colour contrast)
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Parmesan rough puff pastry
  • 225g plain flour
  • 40g finely grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds crushed
  • 225g cold butter coarsely chopped

Parmesan Puff Pastry
Sift flour and a pinch of salt into a food processor. 
Add parmesan, thyme and fennel seeds and pulse to combine. 
Add butter pulsing until mixture resembles very coarse crumbs. 
Tip onto a bench, make a well in the centre and add 100ml iced water. Mix together until dough just comes together. 
Form into a disc, wrap in glad wrap and refrigerate to rest for 20 minutes.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 1.5cm thick rectangle. 
Then fold the shortest ends together to meet in the centre and fold in half again to form a book fold. 
Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate to rest for another 20 minutes You will need to repeat this twice more. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
Preheat oven to 180C. 
Scatter pumpkin in a single layer on trays lined with baking paper, drizzle with oil, scatter with thyme, season to taste and roast until just tender (approx. 30-35 minutes). Set aside to cool.
Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat, add onion stirring occasionally until tender.
Add wine, stir occasionally until evaporated and set aside to cool.
Roll pastry out onto a lightly floured surface to a 5mm thickness.
Cut out a 25cm-diameter circle, place on a lined baking tray and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes
Score a border, 1cm from the edge, to halfway through pastry. 
Prick inside border with a fork, spread with onion, scatter pumpkin goat's cheese
Roll edge slightly to contain the filling. 
Brush edge with beaten egg and bake until golden and cooked through (approx. 25-30 minutes). 
Sprinkle remaining thyme over the top and serve either hot or cold.