Acorn Squash Tartlets

Acorn Squash Tartlets

When combined with other seasonal ingredients, such as maple syrup and nutmeg, acorn squash makes a delightful filling for these tartlets.

Acorn Squash Tartlets
Serves: 18
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ (14.1-ounce) packages refrigerated piecrust dough (3 sheets)
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk
  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • ⅛ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, unroll dough sheets. Using a 2¾-inch cutter, cut 18 rounds from dough, reserving dough scraps. Transfer rounds to 18 (2½-inch) fluted tartlet pans, pressing into bottoms and up sides. Using the wide end of a chopstick, gently press dough into indentations in sides of pans. Using a fork, prick bottoms of dough. Place tartlet pans on a rimmed baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. Bake tartlet shells until light golden brown, approximately 7 minutes. Let cool completely.
  4. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut ½-inch leaf shapes from dough scraps. Pinch bottoms of leaves to create stems. Place leaves on prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  5. Brush tops of leaves with milk.
  6. Bake leaves until light golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut acorn squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds and membranes. Drizzle cut sides of squash with olive oil. Sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake until squash feels very soft when pressed or squeezed, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely.
  10. Scrape baked squash pulp from peel. Using a fork, mash squash pulp until puréed.
  11. In a medium bowl, stir together puréed squash, maple syrup, melted butter, brown sugar, cream, nutmeg, remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined and creamy.
  12. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon squash mixture into each baked tartlet shell, being careful not to overfill. Using an offset spatula, smooth squash mixture.
  13. Bake until filling is set and a knife inserted in centers of tartlets comes out clean, 24 to 28 minutes. Let cool completely. Serve immediately at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for a few hours until cold.
  14. Just before serving, place Sweetened Whipped Cream in a piping bag fitted with large open star tip (Wilton #1M). Pipe a rosette of Sweetened Whipped Cream onto each tartlet. Arrange 2 or 3 pastry leaves on each tartlet. Serve immediately.
Notes
Make-Ahead Tip: Tartlet shells and pastry leaves can be made up to a day in advance and stored in an airtight container. Acorn squash filling can be made up to a day in advance, stored in covered container, and refrigerated until ready to use.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
 
A homemade sweetened whipped cream is easy to make and can be used as a topping for many baked goods, from scones to tartlets.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a medium deep bowl, beat together cold cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract with a mixer at high speed until thick and creamy. Use immediately.