We all know squash and mushrooms are the best friends. They pair wonderfully. A few days ago I saw Shef’s posting Roasted Butternut Squash Tart With Shiitake Mushrooms and, for some reason, imagined her crust made of squash. Since than I became obsessed with the idea. Next day, 2 pounds of Costco’s cubed butternut squash jumped into my cart. I came home, preheated oven to 300F (convection), and spread golden cubes on a rack. For about an hour or two, my squash was giving up its moisture and concentrating its flavor in the hot oven, while I was taking care of other things. I turned it off and left in the closed oven to continue drying overnight in a leftover heat. In the morning, I processed pecans, dehydrated squash, grated parmesan, and caramelized leeks in a mass. My future crusts were rolled between two silicone mats, and placed into the 6 tartlet molds. Covered with plastic wrap, they waited for me to continue cooking them for dinner. In the evening, while they were baking for the first 15 minutes, I fixed three fillings — mushrooms with thyme, smoked chicken quiches, and fresh goat cheese with tomatoes and greens. In 15 more minutes my fancy dinner was ready. Do I have to say we enjoyed it? With a glass of red wine… Mmmmm…

This recipe yields 1 large d24″ pie crust or 6 small d3″ crusts.

Yum

Butternut Squash, Pecans, and Parmesan Crust

Prep Time8 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time15 hrs 30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: European
Keyword: cheese, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, nuts, pecan, pie, pumpkin, recipe, vegetables
Servings: 6 portions

Ingredients

for dehydrated squash

  • 2 lb butternut squash fresh, 1" cubed

for crust

  • 10 oz butternut squash dehydrated
  • 2.5 oz pecans
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp leeks minced, caramelised, dry
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper ground
  • 1/2 tsp garlic minced, caramelised

for mushroom tartlets (2 portions)

  • 6 oz mushrooms cremini, quatered
  • 2 sprigs thyme fresh
  • 1/4 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper ground
  • 2 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated

for smoked chicken quiche (2 portions)

  • 6 oz smoked chicken breast shredded
  • 1/4 onion thinly sliced
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated

for fresh goat cheese tartlets (2 portions)

  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 10 cherry tomato halved
  • 2 tsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp sunflower shoots
  • 2 tsp arugula microgreens
  • 2 tsp scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp chives minced

Instructions

for dehydrated squash

  • Preheat oven 300F. Spread cubed butternut squash on the rack and dehydrate it in hot oven for 1-1.5 hours. Turn off the heat, keep the squash in the oven overnight. Yields ~10oz of dehydrated squash.

for crust

  • Using food processor, pulse pecans to make a pecan meal. Add other ingredients and process until the mixture forms a ball or a compact mass, for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Roll it between two silicone mats 1/8" thick.
  • Using a spatula, divide it to 6 portions and place each into a tartlet mold. Using your fingers, press and spread the crust to fill corners. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate till baking.
  • Preheat oven 350F. Brush crusts with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Use this time to prep fillings.

for mushroom tartlets

  • Caramelize sliced onions. Reserve.
  • Quarter mushrooms. Sauté them on high heat till brown. Mix with halve of the onions, add cream and thyme, turn off the heat.
  • Remove 15-minutes-baked crusts from the molds. Bake them for another 15 minutes. Fill them with mushrooms, sprinkle with grated cheese and serve hot.

for smoked chicken quiche

  • Sprinkle bottom of the crust with 1 tbsp of grated cheese.
  • Mix egg yolks, cream, and seasoning. Add shredded chicken and the second half of caramelized onions. Mix. Fill tartlets with the mixture. Sprinkle the top with the rest of grated cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.

for fresh goat cheese tartlets

  • Remove 15-minutes-baked crusts from the molds. Bake them for another 15 minutes.
  • Mix fresh goat cheese with sun-dried tomato pesto and scoop it into the tartlets. Garnish with tomatoes, greens, and pine nuts. Serve warm.
    Butternut Squash Pie Crust

Notes

It is important not to add too much oil with caramelized leeks to the crust. The best way to cook them is to deep fry till crunchy. An easy replacement is dehydrated toasted shallots or onions, available at Savory Spice Shop.
Butternut Squash Pie Crust
Butternut Squash Pie Crust
Butternut Squash Pie Crust
Butternut Squash Pie Crust
Butternut Squash Pie Crust