Butternut Squash Tart with Chilli and Sage

Butternut Squash Tart

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Tart with Chilli and Sage

My Butternut Squash Tart with Chilli and Sage is a great summer tart which can be served either hot or cold.   I came up with the idea for this recipe as an alternative to the Caramelised Onion Tart that is a regular family supper.   I wanted to do something that had a similar sweetness but which was also a bit different.

The resulting tart uses butternut squash, which is slow-cooked to enhance its natural sweetness, and then gives it a bit of extra zing with the addition of chilli and sage.  Both are good companions to squash – the chilli cuts through the sweetness and the sage gives it a savoury depth of flavour.

Don’t be alarmed by the chilli!  The amount involved is relatively small but really does pep up the tart.  My children have varying views on chilli  (ranging from “Carolina Reaper for breakfast, please” to  “Yeeeuch”) but they all like this tart.

I like to serve this tart with my Red Slaw – to keep the bright colour thing going!   They taste good together – the fresh crunchiness of the slaw goes well with the sweet-savoury tart – and they also look pretty!

Butternut Squash Tart

Equipment

Large, heavy frying pan, quiche or flan dish  (28 cm)

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Butternut tart

Butternut Squash Tart with Chilli and Sage

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: for 8 people 1x
  • Category: Tart
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

In this tart, the sweetness of butternut squash is tempered by the heat of chilli and the aromatic sage.  The bright yellow squash also makes it look very attractive.   The tart can be eaten either hot or cold, which makes it great for picnics or cold buffets.

 


Scale

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 275 g plain flour
  • 125 g fat (I use a mix of half butter and half Trex as I think this makes the lightest pastry)
  • Salt
  • A little water

For the filling:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 onions
  • 40 g butter and 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Half a fresh red chilli (you can add more or less depending on how much you like chilli)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 34 sage leaves
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 75 g strong cheddar cheese (grated)

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Make the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl.  Add the fat and combine –  either by “rubbing in” by hand or processing – until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add a little cold water (2-3 tbsp) and shape the mixture into a dough.
  3. Peel and chop the onions. Peel and chop the butternut squash into small cubes.
  4. Heat the butter and oil in your frying pan.   It helps if the pan is good quality with a thick bottom as this will disseminate the heat evenly and prevent burning.
  5. Add the chopped onions and cubed butternut squash to the pan, season with salt and pepper,  and cook at a very low heat for about 30 minutes.  Keep an eye on them to make sure they are not burning and stir occasionally.  They will be done when the onions and squash cubes are soft and, when tasted, are sweet.
  6. Finely chop the chilli, garlic cloves and the sage leaves and add to the onion and squash mixture.  Set the mixture aside to cool slightly.
  7. Roll out your pastry and use it to line your quiche or flan dish.   Bake for 5  minutes in the oven to allow the pastry to “set”.  This will stop the filling making it soggy.
  8. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the cream, and beat until combined.  Finely grate the cheddar cheese and add to the mixture.
  9. Now place the onion and squash mixture in your pastry case.  Pour the egg mixture over it.
  10. Place your quiche or flan dish in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
  11. The tart can be eaten hot, room temperature or cold.

Keywords: butternut squash, chilli, sage, tart

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Gooseberry Jam

Gooseberry Jam
Gooseberries

Gooseberry Jam

Home-made Gooseberry Jam is a real treat.  It is tangy and fruity and has a good balance of sweet and sour, unlike some shop-bought jams which are too sugary.

I love gooseberries and appreciate their tangy sourness.  Green gooseberries are available from early June onwards and can be used to make a range of sweet and savoury dishes, tempered by the right amount of sugar.   Red or yellow dessert gooseberries, which can be eaten with no preparation,  become available later in the season.   My parents used to grow dessert gooseberries and I have happy memories of sitting under a tree in the garden as a child, reading a book – “Doctor Doolittle”, I think – with a big bowl of freshly-picked gooseberries beside me.

Gooseberries have fallen out of favour in recent years and can be hard to source.   I grow gooseberries in my garden but, if you don’t have the room or inclination to grow your own, you can find them in some supermarkets or independent greengrocers from early June onwards when they are in season.   They are also often available at “pick-your-own” farms.    The green culinary gooseberries are generally easier to source than the dessert gooseberries.   The season is very short so make the most of it!

Gooseberries lend themselves to a range of sweet dishes – tarts, crumbles, fools and  ice-cream and are fantastic in preserves and chutneys.  They are also a traditional accompaniment to some savoury dishes and, due to their tartness, go well with fatty meats such as pork or duck or oily fish such as mackerel.

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Home-made Gooseberry Jam

Gooseberry Jam

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 jam-jars 1x
  • Category: Jam
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Sweet and tangy home-made gooseberry jam is fantastic on crusty bread or as an ingredient in cakes or puddings.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 500 g gooseberries
  • 500 g jam sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon

Instructions

  1. Put gooseberries, lemon juice and 200 ml water in a heavy saucepan
  2. Heat gently to simmering point and then cook for around 10 minutes until fruit is soft.
  3. Add the sugar and continue to heat gently until it is dissolved.
  4. Turn up the heat and boil rapidly for a further 10-15 minutes.  The jam will change to a dark pink colour as it cooks.
  5. You can judge the setting point by putting a saucer in your freezer before making the jam.  Spoon some of the jam onto the cold saucer and leave to cool.  If the surface of the jam crinkles when you push it with your finger, it is ready.  If not, continue boiling and try again after a few more minutes.
  6. Sterilise your jar.
  7. Pour the jam into sterilised jars.  It will keep for about 6 months.   Keep in the fridge once opened.

 


Notes

There are various ways of sterilising jars.  I think the easiest is to wash in soapy water and then put in an oven at 120 C for 15 minutes.

Keywords: gooseberry, jam

Gooseberries
Gooseberry Jam
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Rose Meringues

Rose meringues
Rose meringues

Rose Meringues

I would not say that I am a particulary girly person.  However, sometimes, the mood hits me to make something pretty and pink and Rose Meringues is my go-to recipe.

These lovely rose flavoured meringues are a delicate shell pink.  They are crisp on the outside and gooey inside and I like to serve them sandwiched together with billowing whipped cream.  I think Rose Meringues go particularly well with raspberries, which have a strong slightly tart flavour that complements their sugary floral taste.  Dark pink raspberries also look pretty with the pale pink meringues.  If you have a few rose petals to strew around on the plate, so much the better!

My meringue recipe needs four egg whites and my basic ice-cream recipe needs four egg yolks.  Therefore, as I hate waste, when I make meringues I generally make ice-cream too.   If you are making these meringues and want to make ice-cream too (and why not, frankly?), there are lots of lovely home-made ice-cream recipes that you could try such as Elderflower Ice-creamRhubarb Curd and Rose Ice-cream or Mango and Lime Ice-cream.

 

Rose meringues

Rose meringues

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Rose flavoured meringues

Rose Meringues

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 24 medium sized meringues 1x
  • Category: Meringues
  • Cuisine: English

Description

These pretty pink meringues are flavoured with rose and accompanied by fresh raspberries and whipped cream.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater
  • A little pink food colouring (optional)
  • 225 g caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 140 C/275F or Gas Mark 1.
  2. Cover two baking sheets with baking parchment. Spread a very thin film of flavourless oil, such as rapeseed oil, on the baking parchment (the best way is to rub it over the parchment with your fingers and then remove the excess with a piece of kitchen towel).
  3. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 2 teaspoons of rosewater and a little food colouring (if using)  to the egg whites and whisk again until very stiff and shiny.
  5. Fold in the rest of the sugar.
  6. Spoon the mixture onto the baking parchment.  You can make your meringues small, medium or large depending on the size spoon you use – teaspoon, dessert spoon or tablespoon.
  7. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake until they are hard on the outside but still gooey in the middle.  This will take between an hour and an hour and a half.
Rose flavoured meringues
Rose meringues

Keywords: meringue, rose

Link up your recipe of the week

 

Rose meringues
Rose meringues

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Lavender Sugar and Rose Geranium Sugar

Rose Geranium Sugar recipe
Rose Geranium Sugar

Two Herb Sugars – Lavender Sugar and Rose Geranium Sugar

This recipe tells you how to make two Herb Sugars –  Lavender Sugar and Rose Geranium Sugar.  Both follow the same process and are very easy to make.  You simply place fresh lavender leaves and buds or chopped rose geranium leaves in a jar of sugar.   The sugar will become infused with the scent of the herbs and can then be used as an ingredient to bring a floral flavour to cakes, puddings or other dishes.

About Rose Geraniums

Lavender is quite a common plant in gardens or in pots on balconies.  Rose Geraniums are less well-known.   There are a number of scented varieties of Rose Geranium (which are actually technically pelargoniums) and all have leaves that smell of rose –  I think they actually smell a bit like Turkish Delight!  I have two varieties –  Angels Perfume and Attar of Roses  –  which I bought from Herbal Haven which is a specialist herb nursery.

Rose Geranium leaves can be used in lots of puddings and desserts to add a subtle rose flavour.  I think this is a better way than using rose-petals as you only need a few leaves whereas you need loads of petals (and, really, who wants to destroy their roses?).

Pelargonium
Rose Geranium

About Herb Sugars

Herb Sugars were popular in Victorian times as a way of capturing the flavour of fresh herbs.     Once the sugar has taken on the scent of the herb, it will keep for many months and, in the days when people cooked with what they grew themselves, this allowed herb-scented dishes to be made in winter when there were no fresh herbs available.

It is best to make Herb Sugars in the summer, when the flavour of herbs is at its strongest.   A wide variety of herbs can be used to produce Herb Sugars, in addition to lavender and rose geranium, and some of my favourites include: thyme, rosemary, bay, lemon verbena and mint.

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Lavender sugar recipe

Lavender Sugar

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10
  • Yield: 1 jam jar 1x
  • Category: Herb Sugar
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Lavender Sugar is produced by allowing the flavour of fresh lavender to infuse into caster sugar which can then be used as an ingredient to bring a floral taste to cakes, biscuits, puddings and other dishes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh lavender (leaves and/or flowers)

Instructions

  1. Place the caster sugar in a bowl.
  2. Place your chopped lavender on a plate and press with the back of a spoon to encourage it to release its flavour.
  3. Add the chopped lavender to the sugar and mix well.
  4. Transfer the sugar and lavender mixture to a jam jar.
  5. Seal the jar and leave for at least 24 hours, and preferably a week, to allow the flavour to infuse into the sugar.
  6. When you are ready to use the sugar, you can either pass it through a coarse sieve to remove the herb pieces or you can leave them in the sugar.

Keywords: herb sugar, lavender, sugar

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Rose Geranium Sugar recipe

Rose Geranium Sugar

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10
  • Yield: 1 jam jar 1x
  • Category: Herb Sugar
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Rose Geranium Sugar is produced by allowing the flavour of fresh rose geranium leaves to infuse into caster sugar which can then be used as an ingredient to bring a floral taste to cakes, biscuits, puddings and other dishes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 10 rose geranium leaves (finely chopped)

Instructions

  1. Place the caster sugar in a bowl.
  2. Place your chopped rose geranium leaves on a plate and press with the back of a spoon to encourage them to release their flavour.
  3. Add the chopped rose geranium leaves to the sugar and mix well.
  4. Transfer the sugar and rose geranium mixture to a jam jar.
  5. Seal the jar and leave for at least 24 hours, and preferably a week, to allow the flavour to infuse into the sugar.
  6. When you are ready to use the sugar, you can either pass it through a coarse sieve to remove the herb pieces or you can leave them in the sugar.

Notes

In order to make this Herb Sugar, you need to make sure you source Rose Geraniums, such as Angels’ Perfume or Attar of Roses, which have leaves that are strongly rose-scented.

Keywords: lavender sugar, rose geranium sugar

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