Thanksgiving tarts

In Thanksgiving on December 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Even though this isn’t one of the traditional squash varieties that I grew up eating, nothing says autumn and winter like butternut squash.  I actually remember the first time I ate a butternut squash — in a risotto at some restaurant in New Haven while I was in college.  

And then once I had one, I couldn’t get enough!  When I saw this butternut squash and onion galette recipe, I thought it would make a fantastic Thanksgiving appetizer.  I found the pastry recipe to be a bit futzy, so I cut out a few steps, and saved some time by making it in the food processor.  Any time savings during the days leading up to Thanksgiving is a good idea in my book.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Tarts (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

For the Pastry

1 1/4 c AP Flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I store my butter in the freezer, so it stays really cold)

2 tsp lemon juice (I used half a lemon)

1/4 c ice cold water

1/4 c sour cream

  1. combine flour, salt, and butter.  Process in food processor or use pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal
  2. whisk in lemon juice, sour cream, water.  Work slowly into flour/butter mixture.  Be careful not to over mix.
  3. Chill in fridge while prepping the filling

Squash and Onion Filling

1 small butternut squash

2 tbs olive oil

1 large onion, sliced thin (a mandolin works great for this)

1 tsp salt

3/4 c gruyere or asiago cheese

1 1/2 tsp sage leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Peel and dice squash into 1/2 inch cubes
  3. Toss with olive oil and salt, spread on sheet pan
  4. Roast for 30 min
  5. While squash is roasting, caramelize onion with butter, 1/2 tsp salt.  A pinch of sugar sometimes helps with the caramelization process
  6. In a large bowl, mix onions, squash, cheese, and sage.


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Remove pastry from fridge and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Cut pastry into rounds (I used a Progresso soup can), and place rounds into buttered muffin tin.
  4. Fill pastry lined muffin tins with squash and onion filling
  5. Bake at 400F for 30-40 min, until pastry is golden brown

The tart shells were wonderfully flaky, and the butternut squash and caramelized onions play off each other and give a hint of sweet along with the savory cheese.  I actually forgot to add the cheese into the filling, and just shaved some asiago right on top of each of the tartlettes.  I  made these the day before; they got  a little soggy, but I reheated them for about 10 minutes in a 400F oven, and they crisped right up.  Delicious.


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