Squash, Thyme, Honey and Mozzarella Tart

Now spring has finally rolled round I can finally start playing with more summery dishes  – this week i am choosing a sweet, sticky and lightly spicy squash tart for my weekend lunch.

The roasted squash, on a base of light spelt pastry, is cut into large chunks and layered between chunks of soft melty mozzarella. Finished off with a chilli honey glaze and fresh thyme, this simple tart is a great make ahead dish. A warmed slice, served with salad in the sunshine is great to eat solo, or serve to friends.

It also can be kept for a few days in sealed tupperware, not that it will last that long…

Squash, Sage, Honey and Mozzarella Tart

For the pastry

  • 150g white spelt flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 50ml creme fraiche
  • 40-50ml water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg + a little water, or a couple of tbs of milk (to glaze the pastry)

For the Filling

  • 12 1/8″-thick rounds peeled butternut squash
  • 3 tbs creme fraiche or soured cream
  • fine sea salt
  • 50ml or 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 finely sliced green chilli
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 6 springs fresh thyme, plus more to garnish
  • 1 ball of mozzarella
  • garlic infused olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

Squash, Sage, Honey and Mozzarella Tart

For the Pastry

Add the flour and salt to a bowl with the butter and mix well until the pastry takes on a sandy texture. Add the sour cream and water to the bowl and mix well, until the dough comes together in a ball (if the mixture is too wet add a little extra flour and work it into the dough) knead the dough for a minute or two before wrapping in clingfilm and popping in the fridge to relax for half an hour.

To prepare your squash

Cut the squash into wedges, about 1cm thick. Add them to a bowl with 1 tbs of the garlic oil, thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Use your hands to gently give the squash a coating in the oil.
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius / 350 degrees F
Mix the grated garlic and creme fraiche in a small bowl, season with a generous pinch of salt and set aside.
Gently roll out the pastry in a circle shape on a floured surface, you want it to be about the thickness of a pound coin. Transfer the pastry to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper – don’t worry if the pastry is a little larger then the dish because the edges will get folded over. Leave roughly two inches in from the edge of your pastry and carefully spread over the creme fraiche mixture, stopping 2-3 inches from the edges. Scatter over a few fresh thyme leaves.
Overlap the squash on top to make a circle tucking little blobs of the soft mozzarella between every other layer. Drizzle the tart with a couple of tablespoons of garlic infused oil before folding up the edges of the galette, gently pleating the overlapping layers to make a rectangle shaped tart.
Brush the pastry with the egg wash, so it is glossy, then put the galette in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes turn once halfway through cooking, to achieve even cooking.
Whist its cooking, combine the 1/4 cup honey, chopped chilli and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil until thickened slightly and syrupy, about 6 minutes.
Add a frying pan (or skillet) to the stove and heat two tablespoons of garlic oil in the pan. Fry the remaining sage in the oil until they crisp up. This will take only half a minute. Transfer the crispy sage leaves to paper towels to drain.

Once it is cooked, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then drizzle with chile-infused honey and garnish with a little extra fresh thyme. Enjoy warm or cold

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