Since I’ve tried the basic recipe for French tart from the book “French pastry professional series”, I cannot stop baking tarts with different fillings. I really love this tart dough and its wonderful crispy consistency, since you can easily conjure up different flavors with different fillings. If you still remember my previous posts, then you’ve probably already realized my preference for tarts. 🙂
After the fruity peach iced tea tart and the Asian-inspired plum wine tart, today I am posting a savory version: A tart with roasted pumpkin and fruity coconut milk. The three kinds of Italian cheese blend perfectly with the sweet taste of pumpkin and their savory tastes build an excellent contrast to the sweetness of pumpkin. The spicy Indian curry powder harmonizes perfectly with the fruity coconut milk and gives the salty-sweet tart a spicy note.
I love this combination of coconut milk and curry. I discovered this taste duo for me during a trip in the Kerala region of South India. In Kerala, almost all the masala dishes came with coconut milk. We didn’t find the term “curry” on any Indian menu. Instead of this the Indians call their national dishes with curry-flavor “Masala“. It seems like “curry” is a British term for Indian masala dishes. The masala powder (curry powder for non-Indians) usually consists of more than ten different ground spices, many of which have a very aromatic and spicy taste.
But even for me, who comes from the Chinese capital of Chili Sichuan, it became too much after a few days. No, no, it was not because of the spicy taste which is totally different from the one I know from my hometown in China. But the spices were actually not burning in my mouth, but in my stomach, for the whole time, day and night. Since there was always only “masala” for three meals from early morning till evening, my taste organs and my stomach were totally overstrained. I had the feeling that a mini-oven was heating my belly day and night.
When we arrived in Kerala, I couldn’t bear to see “masala” on my plate any more. One day, my husband ordered a dish with Kerala Masala. It was chicken braised in a masala sauce that was mixed with plenty of fruity coconut milk. I tried a little bit of it and was so impressed by the mildly spicy yet sweet taste. The sweet taste of creamy coconut milk gave the dish a mild and fruity note. Suddenly my appetite for Indian food was back again!
At once I ordered a Kerala Masala dish as well. The best thing was that after the meal there was no mini-oven heating my stomach like after any other meal in India. I felt good! It was like a rescue for me during our four week trip in India. 😉 Since then, this taste duo of Indian curry powder and coconut milk became one of my favorite flavor combinations.
For the dough:
250g all-purpose flour
5g sugar (optional)
For the filling:
400g Hokkaido pumpkin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp curry powder
60g Ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon basil
additional grated parmesan and pecorino cheese for garnishing
Creme freche for serving
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, butter a large tart mold (26cm) or two small tart molds (12cm).
- Prepare the tart dough: sieve the flour into the bowl of the food processor. Dice the butter into walnut size and add to the flour. Mix with the dough hook with slow speed until bigger crumbs are formed (do not try to process the ingredients into a homogeneous mass).
- Mix the water and the egg, add salt and sugar to the liquid ingredients and let them dissolve. Give everything at once to the flour-butter mixture. Stop the mixer once the dough becomes homogenous.
- Spread the dough in the tart mold.
- Slice the pumpkins and carrots into small cubes, mix with olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet, then sprinkle the brown sugar on it. Bake in preheated oven, roast for about 10 minutes until the pumpkin cubes and carrots are getting soft.
- Add the vegetables to a pot, add coconut milk and coconut oil. Puree till creamy.
- Stir the eggs together with the ricotta cheese in a bowl. Mix in the grated cheese. Add the egg ricotta mixture to the vegetable puree, season with salt and pepper and mix well until smooth.
- Spread the mixture on the dough and sprinkle additional grated cheese on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Bake until the tart becomes golden brown.
- Serve with cream freche.