Pumpkin sage mushroom and chestnut tart recipe

Chestnut, Pumpkin & Mushroom Tarts – and Beaujolais Nouveau!

The shock of the inhuman terrorist attacks in Paris last week have perhaps numbed us. But this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Day 2015 has never been so symbolic this Thursday 19 November. Beaujolais producers affirm that their “wines are to be celebrated” and “they represent French conviviality and culture.

The moment of sharing this year is a strong symbol to show that France still stands strong and is proud of its values.”

The French know how to continue their art de vivre and they need our support during this tough time – as locals and tourists alike are perhaps scared to venture out for a while in the Paris we love so much. After an exceptionally hot summer and a perfectly mature early harvest, the French have good reason to be proud. 2015 will apparently be an outstanding vintage and so it’s time to celebrate wine in France and around the world.

Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Day 2015 Paris

Today nearly a third of Beaujolais production is sold as Beaujolais Nouveau. It’s the first French wine to be released for each vintage year. Harvesting takes place late August to early September and the traditional Gamay Noir grapes (which make up 98% of Beaujolais wines) are fermented for only a few days then released on the third Thursday in November, a practise that has continued since 1985 by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO).

Like Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais basic reds are to be drunk within the year. They’re real bistro wines in Paris, served slightly chilled and slightly blueish-light-purple in colour due to the Gamay grape, known for being light, fruity and easy-drinking.

Pumpkin sage and mushroom tarts with Chestnut Flour

This week also marks 24 years ago since I met my Frenchman. Antoine had just returned from a student Beaujolais Nouveau evening and so we quickly found a mutual conversation starter – admittedly I made him do most of the talking just to listen to his endearing, oh-là-là accent. Having blind-tasted the Scottish Wine Society’s selection the previous evening – celebrated in true Frenchie style with the official jury arriving on bicycles, clad in onion-johnnys, berets, blue and white stripy nautical matelot jerseys – the best producer was unveiled with its pretty flowery label since it typically tasted of banana and bubble gum. Although my thoughts were leaning towards the highest category, the Beaujolais Cru wines.

When I explained to my new French-Corsican friend Antoine that evening about the 10 Crus (Brouilly, Régnié, Chiroubles; Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Saint-Amour; Chénas, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin à Vent), and how some of them could keep up to 10 years in the bottle with no need to chill the red wine either – I’d somehow talked myself into a Frenchman’s heart. We had an excuse to meet again and thankfully, we’re still continuing the love of discovering of new wines together.

Chestnut Pumpkin Tarts

So to celebrate the perfect partner, here’s a delicious recipe for chestnut pumpkin tarts that match well with the basic Beaujolais or the lighter to medium bodied crus. Inspired by my Corsican family who use chestnut flour in their cooking, I’ve added it to the pastry; the roasted pumpkin and mushroom filling is also good with any turkey leftovers. Do try and find some sage to add to this, as this adds that extra je ne sais quoi to the flavour.

Chestnut flour pastry for pumpkin sage and mushroom tarts

Roasted Pumpkin, Mushroom and Chestnut Tart Recipe

You could also replace the mushrooms with left-over turkey, as the wines also partner very well with poultry. Inspired by and adapted from a recipe from the French edition of Elle magazine. Enjoy a taste of Autumn on a plate!

Makes one large tart (28cm diameter) or 8 individual tartlets

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Chestnut Pastry

150g plain flour
100g chestnut flour
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp salt
4-5 tbsp water

1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour.  Remove the dough from the fridge and leave to stand about 10 minutes, to make it easy to roll it out.

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface then using the pastry roller, wrap around the pastry to transfer it to the tart tin (I find it easier using a tart tin with a loose bottom).  Press it in to the sides then, again with the roller, roll over the top of the tin to clean up the edges.  Keep in the fridge while preparing the filling.

Filling

350g pumpkin (or red kuri squash/potimarron), roughly chopped into small chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, white part, sliced finely
300g mushrooms (chestnut/crimini), cut into big pieces
1 tbsp sage leaves, finely chopped
3 eggs
250g crème fraîche
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
salt & pepper
2 tbsp parmesan, finely grated*

* please grate from a block of parmesan and not from a packet of pre-grated stuff. The resulting taste is so different!

3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F (gas 6). Place the pumpkin with half of the oil and sage in a roasting tin and roast uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, over medium heat, dry fry the mushrooms.  There’s no need to add any oil.  Wait until the mushrooms give off their liquid and then transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool slightly. In the same pan, add a little olive oil and fry the leeks until they’re translucent but not brown.

5. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, crème fraîche, nutmeg, parmesan, and season to taste.

6. Sprinkle the roasted pumpkin with sage over the tart base, top with the leek and mushrooms and pour over the creamy egg mix.  Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes for a large tart (30 minutes if making tartlets).

Chestnut pumpkin tarts

So cheers to this year’s vintage! Serve with this year’s jam-packed Beaujolais Nouveau (apparently it’s full of forest fruits on the nose!) or enjoy it at any time of year with a medium-bodied Cru: a Saint-Amour, a Fleurie, or a Côte de Brouilly and let’s raise a toast to the French.

To show your support for our local bistros, restaurants and wine bars in France, see the
List of Beaujolais Programme throughout France.


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16 replies
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Too funny David. The funniest thing is that the chestnut flour can even catch us out. When the family first tasted it, they thought I’d put bacon/turkey in it but it was vegetarian! 😀

      Reply
  1. Tony
    Tony says:

    The filling is the key indeed and I can testify it is yummy. Comfort food before the cold which is upon us soon or should be at least. Thanks for this lovely post.

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Glad to you saw it otherwise I’m sure you would have forgotten, lol. But caught you out on that Morgon, hehe.

      Reply
  2. Liz
    Liz says:

    I hope you two are sipping good wine all week to celebrate the anniversary of your meeting 🙂 What a lovely autumnal tart AND a reminder we need to continue to support Paris and all of France. xo

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      You know us so well Liz – yes, we like to find excuses to discover good wines! Cheers to you and thanks always for your wonderful support. Bon weekend!

      Reply
  3. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    Happy Anniversary, you two! Brought together over wine and food, isn’t that perfect? I am intrigued by the addition of chestnut flour to your dough and must try it. But I do love the combination of wonderful flavors in this quiche. Perfect with a Chinon rouge 🙂 Peace and love to you and your family xo

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      I love how we’ve not only met in person but we’ve both met our Frenchie hubbies, Jamie.
      Yes, it’s great with most reds and fruity whites too! Yes, a good Chinon sounds lovely. Which reminds me that we’ve run out of Chinon – high time we ventured to the Hotel Diderot again soon. Have a lovely weekend x

      Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Hehe – thanks Carol. I set the foot wrong from the beginning since it has been me with the apron on – but with a glass of wine at the side!

      Reply
  4. June S
    June S says:

    Thanks for reminding me of how you met Antoine. It sure sounded a fun Beaujolais Nouveau evening all these years ago. Well done you for posting something nice about Paris after recent events. I just wish I could taste that tart with the chestnut flour which looks absolutely delicious AND the filling looks yummy too.
    Cheers Jill!

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Thanks Mum – remember that you can get the chestnut flour in health food shops in Edinburgh. I do hope you or Dad make it – very Autumnal. Otherwise it’s on the menu for your next trip over x

      Reply
  5. William Cleek
    William Cleek says:

    Wonderful to look at, tasty by the ingredients and I can see this being served on my table. You have done it again, Jill. Best wishes.

    Reply
  6. Jill Colonna
    Jill Colonna says:

    Thanks so much Christina. Yes, people are beginning to come out again – it’s so important to try and carry on, you’re right.
    Really pleased you’ll try this – I personally love the chestnut flour but I’m sure if you replace it with wholemeal flour it will help give it that rustic element too.

    Reply
  7. Christina @ Christina's Cucina
    Christina @ Christina's Cucina says:

    Congratulations on your 24th anniversary of your meeting! Such a lovely post and beautiful photos of your recipe, Jill!

    I hope everyone is brave enough to venture out and continue to enjoy life as they did before last Friday. It’s so important.

    I love the filling in this tart! The combination of mushroom, pumpkin and leek sounds wonderful! I’ve never tried chestnut flour and probably never will, given Denisa’s nut allergies. I’m sure this would work with regular pastry too, though, so no worries. Thanks for a great recipe, as always!

    Reply

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