This Butternut Squash Tart with Habanero Honey & Blue Cheese is the sweet, spicy, buttery, cheesy vegetarian main you didn’t know you needed. Heck, I didn’t know I needed it until last week when the idea hit me about two minutes before I was going to fall asleep.I got up to write it down, thereby ruining the effect of my melatonin, but it was totally worth it because this tart is ridiculously good, as almost all spicy things with blue cheese are.You should make this tart this weekend. You’ll be glad to have it while you take down your holiday decorations or watch football or yell at the TV during the Golden Globes (that last one might just be me 🙂 ). Beyond being absolutely delicious, this savory tart is incredibly simple to make. And it’ll make you look very fancy. It’s hard not to look fancy when you make your own Habanero Honey.And speaking of Habanero Honey, you’re going to be really happy to have this stuff in your fridge. It takes all of 25 minutes to make and is delicious painted onto butternut squash, of course, but I think it would also be great drizzled over fried chicken, as a flourish on a cheese plate, or even swirled into tea (if you’re feeling adventurous). You could even tie a ribbon around a jar of Habanero Honey and give it as a hostess gift!But back to the tart. I mean, do you see this thing? What are you waiting for? Get to it, y’all!
Butternut Squash Tart with Habanero Honey & Blue Cheese
makes 1 tart, about 6 servings
Rough Puff Pastry:*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
12-15 1/8-inch thick slices (8 ounces) butternut squash (from the neck)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
a few grinds of black pepper
2-3 tablespoons habanero honey (recipe below)
3-4 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
2 quarter sheet pans, preferably matching
Make Rough Puff Pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.
(This is a good time to make the Habanero Honey. Recipe below.)
Make the tart. Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed quarter-sheet pan or jelly roll pan with parchment.
Make an egg wash. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together egg and water. Use a pastry brush to apply egg wash over any exposed crust.
Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to the prepared pan. Trim any overhang to 1-1 1/2 inches. Dock center of the dough with a fork. Brush entire surface with egg wash. Arrange butternut squash slices in an overlapping pattern over the docked area. Fold overhang toward the center and brush exposed pastry with more egg wash. Refrigerate for 15 minutes if dough becomes too sticky.
Cover tart with a sheet of parchment and place another quarter sheet pan on top. Bake 10 minutes to lightly steam the squash. Remove tart from oven, lift off top pan and peel away parchment. Brush squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake an additional 20-22 minutes, or until edges are puffed and golden brown.
Let tart cool 10 minutes in the pan. Brush exposed squash with habanero honey. Let sit 5 more minutes before using parchment to remove it to a cutting board. Sprinkle with blue cheese. Slice and serve.
Tart is best eaten the day it’s made, but may be refrigerated for up to three days. If stacking slices, use wax paper as a barrier.
You may use frozen all-butter puff pastry instead. Thaw according to package directions and begin the recipe at the paragraph that begins “Make the tart.”
Quick Habanero Honey
makes 1/2 cup
1-2 fresh habanero peppers
1/2 cup mild honey
You may want to use latex gloves when handling hot peppers.
Slice off habanero pepper stems and slice in half. Remove seeds with a spoon, if desired. Mince peppers and put into a small saucepan. Wash your hands immediately. Do not touch your face or anything else.
Pour honey over minced peppers. Bring pot to a simmer over medium-low heat. Do not boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes before straining out pepper bits.
Pour honey into a jar and let cool completely.
Cover jar and store in the refrigerator for up to three months.