Winter Squash Tarte Tatin with Prairie Fruits Farm Moonglo
This Midwestern spin on classic tarte tatin is made even more savory garnished with a nutty, pungent alpine-style cheese. Read more about Paul Virant and his restaurants in Relish the Season.
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup cold, unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons ice water, or as needed
- 1 cup sugar
- Water, as needed
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices Prairie Fruits Farm Moonglo, or other semifirm alpine-style cheese
- Fresh arugula, for serving (optional)
- THE PASTRY: Mix mix together the flour, sugar, and salt on low speed in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. While the mixer is running, gradually add the butter and continue mixing until coarse crumbs form.
- Mix in the egg yolk and ice water, and continue to mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times. Gently flatten the dough into a disk with your hand, cover in plastic wrap, and chill while you prepare the tart filling.
- THE FILLING: Heat the oven to 400°F. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, make a caramel by combining the sugar with just enough water to dissolve it. Using a heatproof pastry brush dipped in water, brush down the sides of the saucepan occasionally to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. Cook until a medium-brown color is achieved and caramel coats the back of a spoon without being runny. Pour the caramel into a 9-inch solid tart pan or skillet, and let cool. When the caramel has set, sprinkle with thyme, and season with salt and pepper.
- Melt the butter in a separate saucepan. In a large bowl, combine the squash, melted butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your hands to thoroughly coat the squash. Arrange the squash in layers on top of the caramel in the tart pan.
- Roll the dough out to ⅛-inch thickness, drape it over the tart pan, and trim the edges. Bake until the dough is golden brown. Cool slightly, then invert onto a serving platter; garnish with shaved cheese, and serve fresh arugula on the side.
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