Pumpkin pie gets a luxurious upgrade with roasted squash puree, a buttery hazelnut shortbread crust, and a creamy, tangy-sweet topping. The denseness of kabocha squash makes this gluten free pumpkin pie-style dessert extra velvety, but you can use butternut squash or canned pumpkin.
Gluten-Free Kabocha Hazelnut Tart Recipe
- 1 Hazelnut-Flour Shortbread Tart Crust (below)
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 medium-sized kabocha squash, quartered
- 1 teaspoon neutral oil, such as sunflower
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE TOPPING
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375ºF. Rub the cut edges of the kabocha squash pieces with the oil, leaving the seeds in for now (they’re easier to remove after roasting), and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until very tender and slightly collapsing, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool, scoop out and discard the seeds and strings, and scoop out and reserve the flesh, discarding the skin. Puree the flesh in a food processor until smooth.
Decrease the oven temperature to 325ºF. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Whisk in the eggs, then the maple syrup, 1-1/4 cups of the kabocha puree, and the sour cream, milk, and vanilla. If you want the filling super-smooth, strain it through a medium-mesh sieve.
Pour the filling into the parbaked crust and bake at 325ºF until the tart wobbles slightly like Jell-O when jiggled, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool for 1 hour, then refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Make the topping: Whip the cream, sour cream, maple syrup, and vanilla to firm peaks. Spread over the tart, top with the hazelnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup, and serve.
Hazelnut-Flour Shortbread Tart Crust
MAKES 1 (9-3/8-INCH) TART CRUST Be sure to use sweet rice flour, not regular white rice flour, for this crust. If you can’t find it, try a sweet rice flour–based all-purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1. The crust, which pairs beautifully with fillings featuring pumpkin puree, chocolate, apples, or pears, can be shaped, tightly wrapped, and frozen for up to 1 week.
- 1/2 cup hazelnut flour
- 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour (such as Koda Farms brand)
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces/3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375ºF. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the hazelnut, sweet rice, oat, and tapioca flours with the sugar and salt. Scatter the butter cubes over the top and add the vanilla. Mix on medium-low until the dough comes together in clumps and the butter is worked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
Dump the crumbs into a 9-3⁄8-inch (standard) tart pan with a removable bottom and press the dough evenly into the pan, starting with the sides and then moving to the bottom, keeping the edges square (it can take up to 10 minutes to make it look pretty). With a fork, prick the bottom of the crust all over and freeze until firm, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your freezer.
Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and parbake at 375ºF until pale golden all over and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. While still hot, press down on the sides and bottom of the crust with the back of a spoon to compress the crust and help it hold together when cool.
Photography Alanna Taylor-Tobin