The weather has turned cooler here in Melbourne lately. It’s Autumn, so we are still enjoying some beautiful, sunny days, but the nights are cool enough to bust out the fluffy socks and snuggly jumpers. The cooler weather also makes me want to bake things. Delicious, comforting things that may take a little time, but help you to slow down and enjoy the ride. Rides like this tart. A nourishing, seasonal, wholefood celebration of loveliness.
The pastry for this takes some time – and can even be started the day before if you’re organised enough. However the results are pretty delicious let me tell you. Pumpkins are perfect right now, and are always a good friend of halloumi I find. Plus they are loaded with betacarotene, a precursor for vitamin A which helps to boost our immunity, nourish our skin and benefits the health of our eyes. Thank you pumpkin, and we haven’t even started talking about their seeds!!
So, if you can carve out a little time for yourself this week, I can think of worse ways to spend time than creating this beauty! Also, halloumi.
Pumpkin, Halloumi and Sage Tart
For the pastry:
*You can substitute good quality shop bought shortcrust pastry if pastry making is not your thing
250g white spelt flour
125g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 free range egg
1 tbs chilled water
For the filling:
600g butternut pumpkin, washed, skin left on and sliced into inch thick slices
1 leek, sliced
½ tbsp butter, ghee or coconut oil
6 free range eggs
½ cup coconut milk, full fat, or milk of your choice
¼ tsp nutmeg (or more to taste)
¼ tsp sea salt
100-150g halloumi, sliced
6-7 fresh sage leaves
Black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180°C.
To make the pastry:
Place the flour and butter into a food processor, and process until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Whisk together the egg and water.
With the processor running, add the egg and water mix, and process until the mix just starts to come together into large clumps. Don’t go as far as the mixture coming together in a ball.
Tip the mixture out onto the bench and form a ball. Press down to make a flat shape, wrap in plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature slightly.
Spread a piece of baking paper onto your bench, place the pastry on top and place another piece of baking paper on top.
Roll out the pastry in between two pieces of baking paper to prevent it from sticking to the bench, turning the dough as needed.
Roll the dough out until it is approximately 3mm thick.
Peel off the top layer of baking paper and lay the pastry into your tart tin / dish and then peel off the second piece of baking paper.
Press the pastry into the sides of the tin so that it fits the shape, and cut away any excess pastry.
To make the filling:
Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and bake for aound 20 mins, or until just tender.
Meanwhile, sauté the leek in a frypan over medium heat in the butter/ghee/coconut oil until soft.
Whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.
Scatter the leek over the base of the pastry, and arrange the pumpkin, halloumi and sage on top.
Pour over the egg mix, and transfer to the oven.
Bake for 25-30mins or until egg is set and pastry cooked.