London-based author Diana Henry is back with another delightful take on seasonal cooking.
She published “Roast Figs Sugar Snow: Winter Food to Warm the Soul” (Octopus, $29.99) in 2009 and has since updated it with new recipes for the U.S. market.
As the title suggests, the cozy dishes are just the thing to get you through winter, no matter if you’re under six feet of snow in Buffalo or simply enjoying the chilly nights here in Austin.
This pumpkin tart with spinach and Gorgonzola could also serve as a lovely vegetarian dish for your Thanksgiving meal this week. Feel free to make it in a single pie or several smaller ones.
Pumpkin Tart with Spinach and Gorgonzola
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust (store-bought or from homemade dough)
1 lb. pumpkin or winter squash, such as butternut
Olive oil, for roasting
1 lb. spinach
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg
7 oz. Gorgonzola
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin from top to bottom into broad slices, remove the inner stringy bits and seeds, and peel. Brush lightly with olive oil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until just tender. Remove the stalks and wash the spinach. Put it into a large saucepan, cover, and wilt in the water left clinging to it (about minutes over low to medium heat). Drain well and let cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together whole eggs, egg yolk, cream and Parmesan. Season well with salt and pepper. Using one 9-inch crust or dividing the dough into smaller tarts, prick the bottom of the tart(s) and bake blind — line the pastry with nonstick parchment paper and put ceramic baking beans or ordinary dried beans on top — in the preheated oven for 7 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and cook for another 4 minutes.
Cut the pumpkin into small slices, about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Squeeze every last bit of water from the spinach and chop it up. Season both of these with salt and pepper and add some freshly grated nutmeg to the spinach. Spread the spinach over the bottom of the pastry crust or crusts, then add the slices of pumpkin and dot with nuggets of Gorgonzola. Pour the custard mixture over the tart or tarts and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes for 1 large pie and 25 to 30 minutes for smaller ones, or until the pastry is golden. Let stand for 10 minutes to let the custard finish cooking and set a little once you have taken it out of the oven. Serves 6.
— “Roast Figs Sugar Snow: Winter Food to Warm the Soul” by Diana Henry (Octopus, $29.99)