These red kuri squash mascarpone walnut tarts have a nutty, crumbly crust and a velvety filling that’s to die for.
When it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, I always struggle with what to make. In the past, I’ve made apple pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin roulade, and pumpkin ice cream and tried to have one of the classics so guests wouldn’t be disappointed. This year I happened to buy a lot of red kuri squash and decided to give an old red kuri tart recipe a little update. These red kuri squash mascarpone walnut tarts have a nutty, crumbly crust and a velvety filling that’s to die for.
With this recipe, you can make both the filling and the crust ahead of time so it’s not stressful to pull off these delicious tarts on the day of. For the crust I added ground walnut to the dough to give it a nuttier taste. If you don’t like walnut, you can also substitute almond meal instead.
The squash filling is made with roasted red kuri squash and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mascarpone cheese is added to create a creamy texture. Instead of using sugar, I added honey which created a molasses like undertone.
These red kuri squash mascarpone walnut tarts are simple to put together. Just imagine the delight on your guests’ faces when they are served an individual tart topped with a dollop of whipped cream, extra walnuts, and a drizzle of honey. This recipe is definitely one of our favorite ways to use red kuri squash and hope it will become yours too. Happy Thanksgiving!
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Red kuri squash mascarpone walnut tarts
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsps icing sugar
- 2 tbsps low fat cream cheese
- 4-5 tbsps ice cold water
- 1.5 pounds organic red kuri squash
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 2 small organic eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup organic heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- Extra honey for serving
- Preheat the oven 350 degrees F.
- Cut the red kuri squash in half, scoop out all the seeds, and place them face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast the squash for 30 minutes until the inside is tender.
- Let it cool to room temperature, discard any stringy parts, then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh.
- While the squash is baking, prepare the crust. In a food processor, add flour, walnut, butter, cream cheese, sugar, and salt and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- While the food processor is running, add water and pulse until the dough comes together.
- Divide the pastry into two portions, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll the cooled dough between two sheets of parchment paper to about ⅛ inch thickness.
- Use a round cutter of about 5 ½ to 6 inches and stamp out 8 rounds. If you don’t have a round cutter, you can use a round bowl larger than the diameter of the tart pans.
- Lift the pastry rounds into the tart pans, press in the base and sides, trim the edges, and prick the bases with a fork. Cover and refrigerate for another 15 minutes. This will help prevent the crust from shrinking during baking.
- To prepare the filling, in a food processor, combine the squash, mascarpone, honey, vanilla, and spices and process until smooth. Pour the filling into a large bowl and set aside.
- When ready to bake, place the tart pans on a baking tray and line each with baking paper, fill with rice or dried beans, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Remove the rice or beans and paper and bake for another 10 minutes until golden.
- Spoon about ¼ cup of filling into the tart pans and bake for 23-25 minutes in the middle rack until set and light golden. If the filling starts to crack, it means they’re overbaked.
- Remove the tarts from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.
- When ready to serve, whisk the heavy cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form.
- Top each tart with a dollop of whipped cream, chopped walnuts, and drizzle of honey and serve immediately.