Monday, October 24, 2011

'Tis Pumpkin Season!

The luncheon this weekend was a great success. The pumpkin cheesecake was a hit and the pumpkin gorgonzola tart was "good enough to sell"! Too bad in all the frenzy, I forgot to take pictures. So I will include a picture of the pumpkin from which we took a chunk out for the tart...the "front"side is still carvable though!

I also got two sugar pumpkins. Making a pie or cheesecake from a sugar pumpkin is terribly easy. I'm glad I decided to try it. The flavor is amazing. As this was my first time making a cheesecake, I had some leftover filling, perfect for mini-cheesecakes in the middle of the week. I will have to remember to take pictures when I make those.

The pumpkin gorgonzola tart was a modified version of Squash and Gorgonzola Tart from The Kitchen Bible.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
8 tbsp cold butter, diced
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp iced water, as needed
1 lb pumpkin, peeled and seeds removed
olive oil, as needed
14 oz baby spinach
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp rubbed sage
4 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled

Cut butter in flour and salt mixture until it resembles corn meal. Add water until all the flour is moistened and form it into a thick disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll it out for a 8 inch tart pan (I used a pie pan). Chill for 30 more minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake about 15 minutes. Lift off the parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes more.

Slice the pumpkin into thick slices and spread on a baking sheet. Toss with 1 tbsp oil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until tender. Cook the spinach and 2 tbsp olive oil in covered saucepan for about 4 minutes, until wilted. Drain and let cool. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, cream, Parmesan, and nutmeg together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle salt and sage on pumpkin slices. Squeeze the spinach dry. Spread it in the pastry shell, and top with the pumpkin and Gorgonzola. Pour in the custard. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the custard is set. Cover with foil if top is too brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

I can't wait to have our friends over for lunch again!

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