This year I prepared for dessert a delicious Golden Hubbard Mascarpone Tart. My inspiration came from the pumpkin compote that my mom used to make (or "doce de abóbora" in Portuguese). This is a very traditional dessert in my country and it’s basically made like a preserve using squash, sugar and spices.
First, I chose a beautiful Golden Hubbard squash. Then I cooked it with sugar and some cloves, but feel free to add other spices you like. To get a smooth filling, I incorporated to the compote a cardamom-infused mascarpone cream. The tart crust is a sweet almond pastry from the book Ladurée Sucré. I also made a little leaf with fondant to decorate it.
Golden Hubbard Mascarpone Tart
Pâte Sucrée aux Amandes
Sweet almond Pastry
From the book Ladurée Sucré
(Makes 16 oz/ 450 g of dough) Equipment:Tart pan, 9 1/2-in/ 24-cm diameter
½ cup /120 g butter, very cold
½ cup + 1 tbsp / 70 g confectioners’ icing sugar
¼ cup/ 25 g ground almonds
1 pinch of fleur de sel (or other coarse sea salt)
1 pinch of vanilla powder (or a few drops of vanilla extract)
1 2/3 cups / 200g cake flour
Sift the confectioners’ sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and place in a bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Work the butter to homogenize and then add the following ingredients, one by one, making sure to fully incorporate each into the mixture before the next addition: sifted confectioner’s sugar, ground almonds, fleur de sel, vanilla, egg and flour. Combine ingredients just until the dough comes together; do not overwork the dough. This will give the pastry its desired crumbly texture.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before using. If possible, it is better to prepare the dough one day ahead; it will be easier to cool out.
Butter the tart pan. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/5 inch / 5 mm thick and press into the buttered pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 340 °F / 170 °C. Remove tart shell from refrigerator. Using a fork, prick the surface of the dough to keep from puffing up during baking. Bake for approximately 25 minutes until light coloured.
Golden Hubbard Compote
(Doce de Abóbora)
500g Golden Hubbard (remove the seeds, peel and cut in small cubes before measuring)
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and mix well. It's not necessary adding water as the squash will start release water in contact with sugar. Cook over lower heat about one hour or until the liquid is gone, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Cardamom- flavored Mascarpone Cream
Inspired by the books Ladurée Sucré and Pierre Hermé Pastries
4 g green cardamom seeds
1/2 tbsp / 4 g powdered gelatin
¼ cup / 60 ml heavy cream
½ cup / 75 g granulated sugar
1 cup / 300 g mascarpone
Place the gelatin sheets in a small bowl of very cold water. Allow to soften for 10 minutes.
Drain the gelatin sheets, squeezing hard to remove all excess liquid. In a saucepan, bring the cream, cardamom and sugar to a boil. Set aside to infuse for 30 minutes, then strain. Pour the mixture back into saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and incorporate the drained gelatin. Allow to cool completely.
Using a wooden or rubber spatula, first mix the mascarpone by itself in a bowl until smooth. Continue to mix and little by little, pour in the cold mixture above.
Golden Hubbard Mascarpone Cream
In a bowl, place the Golden Hubbard compote and the mascarpone cream (left about 1/2 cup for decorating). Blend with a handheld immersion blender until smooth.
Fill the cooled baked tart shell with Golden Hubbard mascarpone cream. Freeze for 20 minutes until the cream is firm. Transfer the 1/2 cup cardamom marcarpone cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and decorate the tart with swirls.