Butternut squash tart with Cointreau & sage syrup

Butternut squash tart with Cointreau and sage syrup

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.

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Butternut squash tart with Cointreau and sage syrup

Food & wine pairing: Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise with butternut squash-Cointreau tart

Dessert-sherry wine icon
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

  1. 1 recipe pastry dough (homemade sweet tart crust)

For the filling

  1. 2 extra large eggs
  2. large pinch sea salt
  3. 3/4 cup organic sugar
  4. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  5. 1/4 cup Cointreau (or Grand Marnier)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (use a microplane grater)
  7. 1 1/2 cups butternut squash purée

For the sage syrup

  1. 1 cup spring water
  2. 3/4 cup organic sugar
  3. 8 large fresh sage leaves
  1. 10″ to 11″ tart mold with removable bottom – buttered
  2. powdered sugar as garnish

  1. Step 1: Make this pastry dough and bake the tart crust blind as per the instructions before proceeding with this recipe.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cook’s note: The syrup can be made up to 5 days ahead and refrigerated.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Butternut squash tart with Cointreau and sage syrup

pie, tart, butternut squash


  1. This is a very elegant cousin to a pumpkin pie! The sage syrup sounds lovely with it.

  2. The squash tart is magnificent enough on its own, but the sage syrup pushes it over the top!

  3. Such a beautiful and delicious tart! I love that sage syrup…so unusual and wonderful!

  4. I’m not sure what i like better the Butternut Squash Tart or the Rosemary Gelato! But I’ll happily have a slice with a scoop of the cranberry compote! What a stunning seasonal recipe, just perfect for the upcoming holiday season!

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  8. Lingbing Hang

    Dear Viviane,
    I ran into your website when I tried to find recipe for zucchini flowers in summer 2010. I fell in love with your website and I learned so much from you since then. Thank you so very much!

    • Dear Lingbing, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leaving me a note. You truly made my day. I am so happy you enjoy the site… It’s comments like yours that encourage me to grow Food and Style more and more. Thank YOU very much my dear… and happy cooking too!

  9. Pingback: Rosemary gelato with crème fraîche — food & style

  10. Pingback: bake4me.com » Blog Archive » Butternut Squash Cointreau Pie and Mousse

  11. MARVELOUS! For the non desert eaters in our family, just the butternut squash itself was enough to entice them for a taste. Your pics made it some much easier to follow. Just like being with you hands on.
    Good luck!

  12. Dear Viviane,
    It is a beautiful dessert. But perhaps more importantly, your photos are so instructive and helpful, and the directions, as always, foolproof. The dedication to your work, and to helping others achieve a degree of success in their own kitchens is truly a gift. Thank you, and happy holidays!
    PS My step father made your warm spinach salad for the Thanksgiving feast & it was divine. One of your recipes always makes it to our holiday table & we can’t thank you enough!

  13. Just voted, long process but totally worth it.
    Yours looked the most professional, beautiful.
    Good luck.

  14. Arielle Bauquet

    Bonjour Viviane,

    Moi aussi je n’arrive pas à voter mais je suis a fond pour toi !!!!! bisous

  15. Viviane,

    Nice job with the depth of field in the 2nd photo of the tart in this post. As always, beautiful food and beautiful photography from you! I’ve come to expect it!


  16. Ca y est Viviane j’ai vote.
    J’aimerais savoir cuisiner comme toi.
    Est-ce que l’on peut voter plusieurs fois ?
    Bises et bonne chance

  17. you’ve got my vote a second time! I love anything with butternut squash and I’m going to try to make it for the holidays.

    good luck! j—-

  18. Viviane , le dessert j’en suis certaine est delicieu . Toutes tes recettes sont sublimes . Je n’arrive pas a voter ???

    Bisous de Noumea

  19. Hi Tam, Thank you so much for your comment and your vote – you just made my day!!!

    I’m so happy that you will be making the whole dessert. Yes a 9″ round tart mold will do just fine… Let me know how it turns out… I’ll be making it for my Thanksgiving dinner next week! I can’t wait…

    Thank you again!

  20. Oops, I saw your note that a 10″ round would work. Close enough for me.

    Good luck!

  21. Do you think this will work on a 9″ round tart pan?

    Looks so good that I’m buying an ice cream maker just to make it all. You got my vote.

  22. Looks terrific. Love the pics. Good luck with contest. I think this recipe is a winner!

  23. Sim! Thank you so much for the kind words. So grateful to you for taking the time to vote and for leaving a comment here…

  24. I cast my vote and wish you luck. Your meticulous instructions are so well done, bravo! Or as the Italians say: “bravissima”!

  25. This looks so elegant I just want to gently eat it-all of it. Voted too, good luck!

  26. Yes good luck! looks so good.

  27. The tart looks fantastic. I love the orange addition. I may steal it for a Thanksgiving meal I’m catering. I hate doing holiday meals for people…They always have such expectations..but this will “wow” them for sure. Thanks!

  28. Truly amazing! Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite desserts and I adore butternut squash. This dessert is definitely unique and would love to try. Best of luck!

  29. gorgeous tart! congrats on being feature in Bon Appetit! that is so exciting!

  30. This is a divine and beautiful dessert. I want to eat a piece right now! Such an innovative mixture of tastes and textures that really compliment each other! Splendid, Simply, Splendid!

  31. wow! Every component you have here sounds absolutely delectable! I voted for you (and by the way, yours looks the best in your category, so good luck!)

  32. What a beautiful presentation. But you need to post the link to voting to make it easier. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Joan, the link to vote is in the post twice… Only need to click on Bon Appétit Blog Envy Bake-Off and it’ll take you right there… I’ll add another link in the instructions now…

      Thank you ALL so much for your votes and your kind words!!!! You’ve just MADE MY DAY… 🙂

  33. Congratulations. Definitely an honor you deserve — gorgeous dessert, gorgeous pics. You’ve got our vote!

  34. Your dessert is so beautiful!Good luck, I’ll be voting everyday!

  35. A great combination of flavors. Love it.

  36. This is absolutely beautiful. Such an elegant dessert. I actually find this tart very unique. I’m still salivating at your rosemary gelato and the combination of this desserts is just amazing.

  37. What a beautiful recipe! Good luck on the contest – I’m heading over to vote right now.

  38. Wow – this looks incredible! Good luck in the contest!

  39. Jen! Thank you for your vote! It means so much…

    As for the pine nuts, yes you can omit the pine nuts and substitute them for 2 Tablespoons of flour.

    Let me know if you make the crust… It has never failed me!

  40. Pingback: Rosemary gelato with crème fraîche « food & style

  41. Amazing — the flavors are fall-fabulous. And I don’t know why, but I am always in love with tart tins! They’re so perfectly shaped and provide such a neat and clean presentation for food.

  42. Good luck in the bake off Viviane – I’ll head over there to cast my vote! and what a gorgeous crust. I’ve never used the food processor to make dough! Do you think it would be okay to leave out the pine nuts (my daughter is allergic). Or substitute something that isn’t a tree nut?

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