John Torode’s Pumpkin and Nutmeg Tarts


Pumpkin and nutmeg tarts are a small, sweet version of the classic tart, a combination that is a particular favourite of John’s. Ideally, they are better served cooked, rather than cooled, as they can be brittle when hot.  The autumnal flavours make this recipe perfect for a Halloween party treat. Why not decorate the top of the tarts with spooky characters to really emphasise the Halloween theme!

Makes approximately 8-10 individual tarts. You will need a medium saucepan and 8-10 small pie tins.

Ingredients:
1kg of short-crust pastry
500g pumpkin (or butternut squash) unpeeled
100g brown sugar
1 tbsp. corn flour
1 egg
1 tsp nutmeg
Milk (for glazing)
1 tbsp. caster sugar

Method:
1 -  Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/gas mark 6.
2 - Chop the pumpkin into good size chunks, then place them into the oven to bake for 30 minutes, or until soft.
3 - Whist the chunks are baking, roll out the pastry until about 1cm thick, and cut into circles slightly larger than the base of the tins.
4 - Line the 8-10 small pie tins with the circle cut pastry, leaving enough for a lid, afterwards place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
5 - Whilst the pumpkin is still hot, scoop the flesh from the skin. Discard the skin.
6 - In a bowl, whisk the pumpkin until smooth.
7 - Beat the sugar, egg and nutmeg together, then add to the pumpkin and whisk some more.
8 - Let the filling cool, and then spoon the mix into the chilled tart cases.
9 - With the remaining pastry, cut shapes for the top of the tarts and place on top of the filling. Brush the tops with milk and scatter with caster sugar.
10 - Place pie dishes on a larger baking tray (in case any liquid leaks out) and bake for 25 minutes.
11 - Allow to cool before turning out.

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