At the risk of being a teeny bit annoying, I’m just going to let it out: pumpkin season makes me want to shriek with joy. Yep, I have sipped my pumpkin latte (I waited until September), noshed on pumpkin-flavored bagels, and have tried more than one brand of pumpkin yogurt (all with varying degrees of satisfaction), and I am soooo not even close to being done.

Feels a little early for pumpkin pie, though, no?

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Savory Pumpkin Tart

Instead, I am celebrating my favorite gourd with a savory tart- creamy, cheesy, herb-y, and delicious, redolent with all the pumpkin flavor I can pack in, but without spoiling my appetite for the sweet version I will be enjoying  around Thanksgiving. FYI- there is another National Pumpkin Pie Day, on December 25 th.

Savory Pumpkin Gruyere Tart

Crust:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Pinch ground black pepper

10 Tbsp (5 oz) cold butter, cut into pieces

2 Tbsp cold water

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

 

Filling:

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 small-ish sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, insides removed, and chopped into 1″ cubes

1 tsp fresh sage, minced

1/8 tsp cayenne

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tsp dark rum

1 1/4 cups grated Gruyere

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

2 Tbsp raw pepitas

 

To make the crust: Combine the flour, cheese, baking powder, salt, pepper and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the pieces of butter are approximately the size of peas. Sprinkle in the water and vinegar and continue to pulse until evenly distributed and a rough dough begins to take shape. Do not overmix. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap loosely in plastic wrap, and flatten. Store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.

To make the filling: Heat the oil in a deep-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring often, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the pumpkin, salt and pepper, cayenne and sage, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and allow to cook gently for 10 or so minutes. Stir and check the moisture. If the pan has become dry and the pumpkin is beginning to take on color, add a 1/4 cup water, stir, and cover. Simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the pumpkin pieces have cooked through and are easily squished with a fork. Uncover the pan and allow any moisture to cook off, stirring gently. Add the rum, then the cream. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of the Gruyere and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, being careful not to mash the pumpkin as you stir. Allow to cool.

Roll out the crust to 1/8″ thickness and line a 9″ tart ring with it. Cut away any excess dough and reserve for future snacking. Chill the dough for a few minutes. Add the filling to the crust, being sure not to leave any air pockets between the crust and filling. The result should be a fairly tightly packed tart. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and pepitas on top.

Bake in a 375 oven on the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing the ring and serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not really a food post today, but certainly one full of appreciation. I think that no matter how old I get, there will always be a soft, squishy place in my heart for Play Doh. All those bright colors, the accessories, and especially  that unmistakable Play Doh scent!

Now, I grew up in a house empty of those happy little yellow cups. I had no idea that one could own more than a a couple colors at a time, and I was completely in the dark about the way commercial Doh smelled. My mom, supremely crafty as well as thrifty, made batch after batch of homemade play dough until I was at least seven. She consulted with me only when it came to color preference, which usually meant that the majority of her blue food coloring was about to be used. It almost always smelled of vanilla, though sometimes she would surprise me with a squirt of almond or orange extract instead.

If you love the texture of play dough being rolled out and squished in your hands, I highly recommend making a batch. Warm out of the pot, you will have a hard time ever putting it down!

That said, I do not have a recipe per se, but rather a link to one of my absolute favorite sites, which has the recipe and instructions for this most brilliant invention: instructables.com.

It is the best recipe I know, and I cannot think of a way to improve on it!

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