Butternut Squash Tart with Curry Spice Crust

Butternut Squash Tart with Curry Spice Crust
Few vegetables speak fall to me more than squash, and a Butternut Squash Tart is a delectable way to celebrate the return of this glorious season with its cooler weather, luscious colors, and permission to slow down after a busy summer.

Butternut squash is such a lovely, versatile ingredient. Whether you use it as a substitute for pumpkin pie sprinkled with our Maple Dust or turn it into something savory like our Butternut Squash Creme Brulee Pots or Savory Butternut Squash Casserole, it never fails to entrance and delight.
A savory vegetable tart is a scrumptious way to showcase this fabulous vegetable. With a tender, spiced crust and creamy filling laced with caramelized onions and lemon thyme, this Butternut Squash Tart is a fabulous choice for fall. Serve it for brunch with a hot cup of our Comfort Blend Black Tea, a lovely orange spice tea with vanilla, orange, cinnamon, and just a hint of clove and ginger, or for lunch with a side salad and a mug of Full Moon Chai, our signature masala chai with cardamom, ginger, clove, cinnamon bark, and a splash of vanilla butternut extract.

The Crust

As much as I like the filling for this tart, it is the crust that truly delights me. While it is scrumptious with a plain tart crust, it is even better encased in a crust laced with curry powder. Not only does the curry provide a wonderfully spiced base for this creamy vegetarian tart, but it also lends a vibrant yellow hue that showcases the rich orange and cream filling beautifully.
For my tart shells I like to use a pastry made with melted butter. This is not only dead easy to make because there's no cutting in, chilling, or par-baking required, but it also results in a buttery-yet-crisp shell that doesn't get soggy. If you cool the baked tart to room temperature, you can even carry a slice like a piece of pizza. No plate required!

The Squash

For me, the key to a well-balanced Butternut Squash Tart is to cut the squash into small pieces. Biting into huge chunks leaves you with only one flavor, but with small pieces, you will have the pleasure of tender nuggets of squash enveloped with savory custard packed with rich seasonings that help the squash shine.
I also like to roast the butternut squash before baking it in the tart. This helps dry out the squash so you don't have a watery mess of a tart, as well as intensify the flavor and add lovely caramelization that takes the tart from fine to divine.

The Filling

The savory filling is made of roasted butternut squash bound with a creamy custard mixed with sharp cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and a spoonful of fresh lemon thyme leaves. If you don't have lemon thyme, regular thyme will work just as well.

Assembling and Baking

I start the process by putting the butternut squash in to roast for 30-40 minutes. While it's roasting, I prepare the crust, mix the custard, caramelize the onions, grate the cheese, and remove the lemon thyme leaves from their stems.
Once the squash is roasted, I let it cool for a few minutes, then spread it evenly into the tart shell. I mix together the remaining ingredients and pour the mixture over the squash, gently jiggling and tamping the pan to ensure any air pockets are filled with custard.
Bake the tart for 30-40 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is browned nicely. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

Butternut Squash Tart with Curried Crust

Dough for Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2-3 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Stir together dry ingredients. Add melted butter and stir until dough forms. Press dough evenly into 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, making sure to go all the way up the sides.
Cover with a tea towel and set aside while you make the filling.

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon thyme leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450.
In large bowl, stir together butternut squash, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper until evenly coated.
Pour evenly onto baking sheet covered with baking paper.
Roast for 40-50 minutes until squash begins to brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, set skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil, chopped onion, salt, and pepper. Fry until nicely caramelized, then remove from heat and stir in fresh thyme leaves. Set aside.
Lower oven temperature to 350.
In large bowl, beat together egg and milk. Stir in grated cheese. Add onions and stir well.
Set tart shell on counter and fill evenly with roasted butternut squash. Pour in egg mixture and shake gently to dispel air bubbles.
Place in middle rack of oven and bake 25-30 minutes until filling is set and top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Krista Bjorn

Canadian born Krista Bjorn has been traveling and exploring for over 20 years and loves every crazy, embarrassing, and wonderful moment. She's lived in Russia and Portugal and now makes her home in beautiful Queensland, Australia, saving her pennies for her next trip. Her food, photography and travel blog is Rambling Tart.
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