Butternut Squash Tartlets

Adapted by StarChefs.com
November 2012
Yield: 6 Tartlets

INGREDIENTS:

Butternut Squash Tarlets
2 medium-sized butternut squashes, peeled and seeded
150 milliliters blended oil
2 egg yolks
227 grams quark
salt
black pepper
Cayenne pepper
nutmeg
Pâte brisée dough
60 grams cornstarch
Parmesan and Pine Nut Crisps
150 grams finely grated Parmesan
50 finely chopped pine nuts
salt
black pepper
Arugula Pesto
1 pound fresh arugula
1 bunch fresh parsley, leaves picked and stems discarded
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
salt
black pepper
Meringue
1 egg white
1 tablespoon sugar
lemon juice
komplet pepper
To Assemble and Serve
50 grams pine nuts
1 tablespoon parsley

METHOD:

For the Butternut Squash Tarlets:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Set a pot of salted water over a medium-high flame. Using a small melon baller, cut out tiny balls of squash and set aside. Dice remaining squash into 2-inch cubes and cook in salted water. Drain and purée in a food processor or blender. (If necessary, press the purée through a drum sieve.) 

In a blender, combine 500 grams of the butternut squash purée (save 150 grams for later adjustments, if necessary) with the oil, egg yolks, quark, salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg. Roll the brisée dough to a thickness of 1/8-inch and line desired baking mold.  Fill the dough shell with purée mixture up to the top, making sure not to spill.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then decrease heat to 300°F and cook 30 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool.

For the Parmesan and Pine Nut Crisps:
Preheat oven to 275°F. Mix Parmesan and pine nuts in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place a ring mold the same diameter as the tartlet on a silicone-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle in the mold approximately ¼-inch of the parmesan and pine nut mixture.  Remove the mold, and repeat in the same fashion until you have six crisps. Bake in the oven for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Place the cooked crisps on a baking rack and store in an airtight container.

For the Meringue:
Heat oven to 250°F. Whip the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks form.  Add the lemon juice and the komplet pepper and bring back to stiff peaks. Top each Butternut Squash Tartlet with a few spoons of the meringue and cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly browned.

For the Arugula Pesto:
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the arugula and parsley for 15 to 20 seconds. Immediately shock the greens in an ice bath chlorophyll. Gently squeeze the liquid from the greens and transfer to a blender with garlic and pine nuts. Purée until almost smooth; then add olive oil in small increments. Season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble and Serve:
While the tartlets cook, caramelize the butternut balls in butter in a sautée pan over medium-high heat. When nicely browned, add the pine nuts and sauté and additional minute. Season with salt and pepper and finish with chopped parsley.  Place on top of tartlet and top with a Parmesan and Pine Nut Crisp. Serve with warm Arugula Pesto.