Indulge with this creamy dessert that surprises with a vegetable base. I've used Queensland Blue in this recipe; you can use other pumpkin varieties for this tart, just make sure they're sweet.
300g good-quality frozen puff pastry
flour, for dusting
100g lightly roasted pine nuts
For pumpkin filling
300g Queensland Blue pumpkin, peeled and seeds removed
40g caster sugar
2 titanium gelatine sheets, soaked in water to soften
1 egg yolk
80g whipping cream (35 per cent fat)
For the meringue
3 egg whites
20g caster sugar
300g pure cream
25g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Allow the pastry to come to fridge temperature overnight.
Sprinkle flour on a bench and the pastry, and roll pastry into a circle about 5mm thick. Place pastry over a 22cm tart ring and base and press down. Cut the edges back so they just come over the edge of the ring, refrigerate for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C.
Place a sheet of foil over the chilled tart and fill with baking weights. Bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes until pastry is a light golden brown.
Cut pumpkin flesh into cubes. Place in a steamer and steam until very tender.
Place cooked pumpkin, sugar and softened gelatine sheets into a food processor and pulse until well blended. Add egg yolk, milk, cream and vanilla and mix well.
To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add half the sugar and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Add the remaining sugar and whisk until peaks are stiff and glossy.
Fold the meringue into the pumpkin filling then carefully spoon the hot pumpkin filling into the cooled tart shell. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
To make the whipped cream, add the cream, sugar and vanilla to a large bowl and whip until firm peaks form.
Spread the whipped cream over the top of the tart. Sprinkle liberally with the pine nuts and serve.
Something to drink
Decadently sweet, Yalumba's 2009 FSW 8B Botrytis Viognier ($25) from Wrattonbully, SA, is a lovely match for the pumpkin tart. Floral and fruity, with flavours of apricots and spice, the palate is luscious and sweet. Its silky texture and subtle spice perfectly enhance the tart's flavours.
Photography by William Meppem. Food styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.