Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Curried Butternut Squash Tartlets with Maple Bacon Topping

Butternut squash and curry seem to have a natural affinity, as do bacon and maple syrup. Add a ready to bake puff pastry shell, a little brown sugar and cream cheese, and you have a sweet and savory dessert that is ready in minutes.

Peel and thinly slice a small butternut squash.  Saute the slices in butter with some madras curry powder until just softened.  Combine a couple tablespoons of cream cheese with brown sugar.  Spread this on some thawed puff pastry shells that have been rolled out to 5-inch circles.  Overlap about four or five slices of the squash.  Bake in a hot oven for twenty minutes.  Top with crisped pieces of bacon in a reduced maple syrup.  Bake another five minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Cool and serve.  I suppose you could serve with ice cream, but they are awfully good by themselves. A more detailed recipe is below.

Curried Butternut Squash Tartlets with Maple Bacon Topping

1 package of Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Shells, thawed
1 small butternut squash, peeled and sliced into thin slices (1/8 inch thick)
2 TBS butter
3 tsp good quality madras curry powder, divided
8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 TBS brown sugar
4--6 slices of bacon, crisped and broken into small pieces
1/2 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 375º F.

In several batches, sauté the slices of squash in a skillet with the butter and 2 teaspoons of the curry powder.  Cook just long enough to soften the slices slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate and cool.

Stir the brown sugar into the cream cheese, making a smooth, uniform mixture.  

On a lightly floured surface, roll each pastry shell into a circle about 5 inches in diameter.  Place the pastry circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on each of the rolled out shells.  Top with five slices of the butternut squash, overlapping them in a circular pattern.  Bake the pastries for twenty minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan stir together the maple syrup and the remaining teaspoon of curry powder.  Reduce the maple syrup by about half.  Stir in the pieces of crisped bacon.

After the tartlets have baked for twenty minutes, top with the maple syrup glaze.  Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional five minutes.  

When done, remove and cool for at least 15 minutes before eating.  May be served warm or at room temperature.

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