Buttery Sage and Acorn Squash Tart
- Preheat oven to 450 degree F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Butter-Pepper Pastry to a 12-inch circle. Ease pastry into an ungreased 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press pastry into fluted sides of pan; trim edges. Generously prick the bottom of the pastry. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake 8 to 10 minutes more or until golden. Set aside on a wire rack. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degree F.
- For filling, in a large bowl, combine eggs, squash, milk, melted butter, honey, sage, and salt.
- Place crust-lined pan on a baking sheet lined with foil. Spoon filling into crust, smoothing top (tart will be very full). Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 40 minutes or until set and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool slightly on a wire rack (about 20 minutes). Remove sides of tart pan; place tart on a serving platter.
- Sprinkle Candied Nuts over the tart. Cut tart into wedges to serve. Makes 12 appetizer servings.
From the Test Kitchen
To make mashed, cooked squash, start with 2 medium acorn squash (about 2 pounds total). Wash squash; halve and remove seeds. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a large roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until tender. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Scoop pulp out of shells and mash (measure 2 cups). Cover and chill until needed, up to 24 hours.
- In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, salt, and ground black pepper. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push the moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat with 3 to 4 tablespoons additional cold water, using 1 tablespoon water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. If necessary, cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Butter the foil; set baking sheet aside.
- In a heavy medium skillet, combine broken black walnuts or English walnuts, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Cook over medium-high heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until sugar begins to melt. Do not stir.
- Reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until sugar is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat. Pour nut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Cool completely. Break into small clusters. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Makes about 1 cup.