Pump­kin Tartlets with Sage & Thyme




Po­lenta pas­try: • 175g plain flour • 25g po­lenta • pinch of fine sea salt • 100g un­salted but­ter • 2 large egg yolks • 1-2 tbsp cold wa­ter • 1 medium egg white

Fill­ing: • about 1.5kg pump­kin • 1 head of gar­lic, cut in half hor­i­zon­tally • hand­ful of rose­mary sprigs • olive oil, to driz­zle • 200ml dou­ble cream • 10-12 sage leaves • few thyme sprigs • sea salt and black pep­per • 2 large eggs, beaten • 100g caster sugar


1. Pre­heat the oven to 170°C/gas 3. Cut the pump­kin in half hor­i­zon­tally and re­move the seeds. Score the flesh, sea­son with salt and pep­per, then rub with the cut gar­lic halves. Lay rose­mary sprigs and a gar­lic half in each pump­kin half. Driz­zle with a lit­tle olive oil and place on bak­ing trays. 2. Roast the pump­kin halves for about 1 hour un­til ten­der. It is ready when you can slip a knife into the thick­est part. Take out the rose­mary and gar­lic; re­serve the gar­lic. While still hot, scoop out the pump­kin flesh and purée in a blender.


3. To make the pas­try, put the flour, po­lenta and salt into a food pro­ces­sor. Cut the but­ter into cubes, add to the pro­ces­sor and process un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles bread­crumbs. Add the egg yolks and 1 tbsp wa­ter and pulse un­til it clumps to­gether. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 min­utes. 4. For the fill­ing, put the cream into a small saucepan and add the snipped sage, thyme sprigs and a pinch of salt. Bring just to a sim­mer, then re­move from the heat and leave to in­fuse and cool. 5. Roll out the pas­try thinly on a floured sur­face and use it to line eight 10cm tart­let tins, trim off the ex­cess pas­try. Brush the in­sides with egg white, then place on a bak­ing tray and chill for an hour. 6. Pre­heat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Line the tart­let cases with grease­proof pa­per and bak­ing beans or dried beans and ‘bake blind’ for 15 min­utes. Re­move the pa­per and beans and re­turn to the oven for 5 min­utes. Re­move from the oven and lower the set­ting to 170°C/gas 3. 7. Strain the herb-in­fused cream through a fine sieve into a bowl, dis­card­ing the herbs. Stir in the pump­kin purée and beaten eggs. Sea­son well to taste. Spoon the fill­ing into the pas­try cases, then sprin­kle a lit­tle grated parme­san and a few thyme leaves on top. Bake for about 20–25 min­utes un­til lightly golden and set. 8. Let the tartlets cool in the tins be­fore un­mould­ing. Care­fully slice each tart­let into quar­ters and ar­range on a plat­ter to serve.

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