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Gordon: "I came up with this recipe in order to use up some leftover pumpkin purée, but you could of course use tinned purée. Rather than making bite-sized mini tartlets, it is easier to make larger tartlets to cut into wedges to serve as canapés. To enjoy them at their best, serve the tartlets soon after baking."


  1. To make the pastry, put the flour, polenta and salt into a food processor. Cut the butter into cubes, add to the processor and process briefly until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and 1 tbsp water and pulse until the mixture starts to clump together. If it is too dry, add another 1–2 tsp water, until you can press the dough together into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, for the filling, put the cream into a small saucepan and add the snipped sage, thyme sprigs and a pinch of salt. Bring just to a simmer, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse and cool completely.

  3. Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and use it to line eight 10cmm tartlet tins, trimming off the excess pastry. Brush the insides with egg white, then place on a baking tray and chill for an hour.

  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line the tartlet cases with greaseproof paper and baking beans or dried beans and ‘bake blind’ for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and lower the setting to 170°C/gas mark 3.

  5. Strain the herb-infused cream through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the herbs. Stir in the pumpkin purée and beaten eggs. Season well to taste. Spoon the filling into the pastry cases, then sprinkle a little grated parmesan and a few thyme leaves on top. Bake for about 20–25 minutes until lightly golden and set.

  6. Let the tartlets cool in the tins before unmoulding. Carefully slice each tartlet into quarters and arrange on a platter to serve.

Tip: For the pumpkin purée, preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Cut a 1.5kg pumpkin in half horizontally and remove the seeds. Score the flesh, season with salt and pepper, then rub with a bulb of garlic cut in half horizontally. Lay rosemary sprigs and a garlic half in each pumpkin half. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place on baking trays. Roast the pumpkin halves for about 1 hour until tender; the timing will depend on the variety, density and thickness. It is ready when you can effortlessly slip a knife into the thickest part of the flesh. Take out the rosemary and garlic; reserve the garlic. While still hot, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and purée in a blender or food processor.