Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pumpkin and chocolate tartlets with meringue

I made a recipe everyone! I had some inspiration a while back - beetroot meringues. Well I made them they were really good, but perhaps a wee bit too beetrooty and earthy for me. With a few tweaks they could turn up here later. However I was really keen to see this idea working so decided to try with pumpkin, since we all know that pumpkin works well in desserts like pumpkin pie.
Here's my recipe. I quite like how they are pretty healthy - especially if you use filo pastry on the bases. Enjoy good home made food made of real ingredients everybody.

Pumpkin and chocolate tarlets
Makes six tartlets

Home made pastry - 2c flour, 125gms cold butter, 2 T icey water (or try filo, sandwich three layers together with a light brush of butter)

1 butternut squash or small pumpkin
4 T honey
½ t ginger
¼ t cinnamon
¼ small orange – juiced
½ t salt

3 eggs separated
2 T castor sugar
½ t vanilla

6 squares chocolate – milk or dark

12 walnuts

Blitz the cold butter and flour in a food processor till the mixture is powdery. Add icey cold water till the mixture sticks together when you press it lightly with your fingers. Pour on to the bench and mould into a ball, wrap in glad wrap and place in the fridge for an hour.

Quarter and de-seed your squash. Steam with a small amount of water in a pot till just soft. Let cool then scoop the flesh from the skins. Let the flesh drain in a sieve over a bowl.

Get a six-cup muffin pan greased and heat your oven to 200c. Once the oven is hot roll your pastry out to 1mm thick and line the muffin pans leaving a 1 cm sticking up to account for shrinkage. Prick all over with a fork, drop the oven to 180c and pre cook till the pastry just starts colouring.

Meanwhile push the pumpkin through the sieve into a clean bowl and mix in the spices, orange juice, salt and egg yolks.

Take the pastry cases from the oven and fill with the pumpkin mixture. Pop back in the oven for aprox 10 mins – the mixture should puff and just start colouring.

Remove from oven and place a square of chocolate on top of each tartlet, so it begins to soften and add some chopped walnuts. Leave the oven on.

Whip the egg whites till thick and add the sugar gradually till it’s mixed in and not grainy. Add the vanilla. The meringue should hold its shape. Using a teaspoon pile the meringue on top of the tartlets. Place them back in the oven and cook till meringue is browned – this is pretty quick so keep your eye on it.

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