This deceptively simple Butternut Squash, Parmesan and Sage Tart pairs roast seasonal squash and a light, airy parmesan cream filling in a flaky pastry case for an elegant vegetarian tart that is perfect for autumnal entertaining!
For the Shortcrust Pastry
- 200g (7 oz) plain (all purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
- 60g (2 oz) unsalted butter, cold from the fridge, plus extra for the tin
- 40g (1 1/2 oz) lard, cold from the fridge (see note)
- pinch salt
For the Tart
- 350–400g (approx. 14 oz) butternut squash
- 1 tbsp light oil
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 small white onion
- 150g (5 1/4 oz) full fat creme fraiche
- 1 large egg
- 30g (1 oz) grated parmesan (see note)
- pinch nutmeg
- 12 large sage leaves
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (355 fahrenheit). Peel the squash and slice it into 1/2 cm (slightly less than 1/4 inch) slices. Toss together on a baking tray with 1/2 tbsp of the oil, salt, pepper, and the garlic cloves, still in their skins. Roast for 20 minutes until the squash slices are starting to colour and the garlic cloves are soft. Set aside to cool, reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees (340 fahrenheit), and place your thickest metal baking tray in the oven to heat up.
- Meanwhile, to make the pastry blitz the flour together with the butter and the lard – both cut into small cubes – and a pinch of salt in a food processor until crumbs have formed. Gradually blitz in up to 2 tbsp of ice water until a ball of dough has formed.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and with floured hands form into a flat oval. Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out until it is in a just wide enough circle to line a 20cm (approx. 8 inch) loose bottomed pastry tin. Grease said tin well with butter before lining with the pastry, trimming off any excess and smoothing the edges with your fingers. Chill the pastry case.
- Heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan set over a medium heat. Peel and finely slice the onion into half moons and gently fry with a pinch of salt for about 8-10 minutes until soft and golden. Set aside to cool.
- In a large jug or mixing bowl, whisk together the creme fraiche, egg, parmesan, a pinch of nutmeg and a little more salt and pepper. Squeeze the roast garlic from the skins and whisk that in too. Thinly shred half the sage leaves and add them to the mix, along with the onions, once cooled.
- To assemble the tart, layer 1/3 of the squash slices into the bottom of the chilled pastry case before pouring over half the cream mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of the squash and the rest of the cream, before arranging the remaining squash slices and sage leaves on top. Grind a generous few turns of pepper on top before baking atop the pre-heated baking tray for 40 minutes, or until the top is puffed and golden.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and serving.
Whilst I’ve listed lard for the pastry as I find the combination of butter and lard makes the lightest, flakiest pastry, if you need to keep this recipe vegetarian simply use more butter.
This tart is best served warm; leftovers can be gently reheated again in the oven to keep the pastry crisp.
When using more than 15g a time I tend to buy pre-grated parmesan, so it is fine to use in this recipe! Again, if you need to keep this tart strictly vegetarian make sure your choice of cheese reflects this.
Keywords: tart, squash, butternut squash, squash tart, parmesan