Sweet pumpkin tartlets

    1 hour

    Pumpkin is a good example of one of the many vegetables that can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes. Pumpkin pie is the best-known sweet preparation, and this is a lighter version made with filo instead of rich shortcrust and topped with fresh fruit. These tartlets are terrific with coffee or as a dessert.

    15 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 360 g (12½ oz) pumpkin flesh, about 450 g (1 lb) with peel and seeds
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 15 g (½ oz) butter
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 carton reduced-fat evaporated milk, about 215 g
    • 75 g (2½ oz) light muscovado sugar
    • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
    • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
    • 4 large sheets of filo pastry, 50 × 28 cm (20 × 11 in) each, about 140 g (5 oz) in total
    • To finish
    • 100 g (3½ oz) blackberries or blueberries, or 2 ripe plums, stoned and thinly sliced
    • icing sugar

    Prep:35min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Cut the pumpkin into chunks and place in a saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain the pumpkin and return it to the pan. Replace the pan on the heat and mash the pumpkin with a potato masher until smooth. Continue heating for a further 4 minutes, stirring often, until most of the excess moisture has evaporated from the pumpkin. Set aside to cool.
    2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). In a small saucepan, warm the oil and butter together until the butter melts, then remove from the heat. Use a little of this oil and butter mixture to grease eight 7.5 cm (3 in) individual flan tins or Yorkshire pudding tins very lightly.
    3. Whisk the eggs, evaporated milk, muscovado sugar, desiccated coconut, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together in a large bowl until well combined but not too frothy. Stir in the pumpkin purée, making sure it is evenly combined with the egg mixture.
    4. Cut 32 squares measuring 12 cm (5 in) from the filo pastry – 8 squares from each sheet. Layer 4 filo squares in each prepared tin, brushing each square sparingly with the oil and butter mixture. Add the successive squares at different angles, so that the corners do not line up – they should create a pointed petal-edge effect.
    5. Spoon the pumpkin filling into the pastry-lined tins. Bake the tartlets for 20–25 minutes or until the filling is lightly set. Allow to cool in the tins until warm.
    6. Top the tartlets with blackberries, blueberries or plums and dust lightly with icing sugar, then serve immediately.

    Some more ideas

    You can use 8 deep muffin tins instead of the Yorkshire pudding tins. The cooking time will be the same. * Use butternut squash instead of pumpkin. * Some sheets of filo pastry are smaller than those listed here. If using 31 × 18 cm (12½ × 7 in) sheets, you will need 11 sheets. Cut out as many squares as possible, then overlap the trimmings to make up the layers. * For a sweet potato and apple tart, cut 400 g (14 oz) sweet potato into chunks, then cook in boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash as for the pumpkin. Omit the coconut and ginger, and add 1 dessert apple, peeled, cored and grated, and 55 g (2 oz) raisins with the sweet potato purée. Layer six 50 × 28 cm (20 × 11 in) sheets of filo pastry in a deep 20 cm (8 in) flan tin or dish, brushing sparingly between the layers with the oil and butter mixture. Trim off excess pastry, leaving 1 cm (½ in) hanging over the rim. Pour in the filling and bake at 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) for 35–40 minutes.

    Plus points

    Pumpkin is a good source of beta-carotene, which the body can convert to vitamin A, and it also provides vitamin E. * Pumpkin is easily digested, so is ideal for adding bulk to light desserts, and it is one of the foods that rarely causes allergies. * Adding a fruit topping to desserts of this type is a good way of avoiding adding lashings of cream or other high-fat ingredients. Fresh fruit also has the advantage of contributing vitamins and fibre.

    Each tartlet provides

    A, B12, E * B1, B2, niacin, calcium

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