Puff Pastry Pumpkin Tartlets
If you’re American you’ll probably be fed up with pumpkin now after Thanksgiving. I think if pumpkin pie is the most common way to use pumpkin for you, for Germans it’s pumpkin soup. Even though there are bound to be tons of different pumpkin soup recipes, somehow it doesn’t appeal to me at all.
Which is why I decided to make puff pastry tartlets using up the tiny hokkaido pumpkin that’s been sitting on my kitchen counter for a couple of weeks. I chose puff pastry because like pumpkin it only takes 20 minutes in the oven.
I knew straight away I’d be using chopped maple pecans to sprinkle over the pumpkin but didn’t find any in the shops – did all you American expats bulk buy them to make pecan pie for Thanksgiving?? Just kidding. However, the reason my little pumpkin sat there for two weeks really was due to the fact that I only found pecans the other day.
What I didn’t know right away was what I’d be putting on the bottom of the puff pastry underneath the pumpkin. The plan was to add maple syrup to the pumpkin slices so it required something that didn’t clash horribly with the sweetish taste of that.
In the end I chose to put a thin layer of crème légère on the puff pastry, then add some very finely grated semi-hard alpine cheese on top, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper. Then I put very thinly cut peeled pumpkin slices in a bowl, added some maple syrup (enough to coat the pumpkin but not so much it swam); meanwhile I chopped two handfuls of pecans and poured some maple syrup over those as well.
I arranged the pumpkin slices on the cheese, sprinkled them with the maple pecans, and baked the tartlets on the middle shelf for 20 minutes at 200°C / 400°F (fan). Just needed to be careful that the maple pecans don’t burn too much, I guess I could have added them 10 minutes later.
Everything turned out really well, though. The cheese I’d chosen and the sweet maple didn’t clash at all. This is a very quick lunch, and I would definitely serve these tartlets to guests, both as a starter at dinner or on a party buffet.