Butternut squash tart with Cointreau & sage syrup This elegant butternut squash pie makes for a sublime holiday dessert
Not your average pumpkin pie filling… this one is spiked with orange liqueur
Butternut squash is a close relative to the sugar pumpkin, and its delicate flavor and creamy texture make for the most delicious pie filling. So why not make it into an elegant tart? The Cointreau highlights the butternut squash’s inherent citrus notes and the buttery dough makes every bite of this tart melt in your mouth. (Don’t even think for a second about not making your own butternut squash purée!)
Plus, learn how to make a light, crumbly homemade tart shell
The pastry dough used for this dessert is incredibly light and crumbly (almost like shortbread). It complements the delicate filling marvelously. This step-by-step recipe and video will show you exactly how to make it – and roll it and line your tart mold with it – in two easy steps. So make sure to watch it!
This beautiful tart is served with a drizzle of syrup infused with fresh sage and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. The combination of flavors is absolutely enchanting.
Food & wine pairing: Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise with butternut squash-Cointreau tart
Serve a Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise from the southern Rhône village of Beaumes-de-Venise, or for a special treat, a Sauternes from Bordeaux.
Butternut squash tart with Cointreau & sage syrup
makes 1 large tart or serves 8
active time: 1 hr
For the filling
- 2 extra large eggs
- large pinch sea salt
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Cointreau (or Grand Marnier)
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (use a microplane grater)
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash purée
For the sage syrup
- 1 cup spring water
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 8 large fresh sage leaves
- 10″ to 11″ tart mold with removable bottom – buttered
- powdered sugar as garnish
- Step 1: Make this pastry dough and bake the tart crust blind as per the instructions before proceeding with this recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC).
- Step 2: Place the eggs, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip at high speed until the mixture is pale and ribbony, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream, Cointreau, orange zest and butternut squash purée. Continue whipping at low speed until well incorporated. Pour the squash mixture in the pre-baked tart shell. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden and slightly puffed up. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature in its mold.
- Step 3: To make the sage syrup – Place the water, sugar and sage leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and fast simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until slightly reduced. Let cool to room temperature.
- Cook’s note: The syrup can be made up to 5 days ahead and refrigerated.
- Step 4: Unmold the tart and cut in 8 slices. Place each slice in the center of a dessert plate. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons of sage syrup around each slice. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
- Cook’s note: The tart can be made up to 12 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. It is best eaten the day it’s made. If you need to refrigerate it, make sure to bring it back to room temperature before serving. Refrigeration will make the crust a bit soggy.