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Pumpkin Pecan Chestnut Flour Tart

Autumnal scenes in and around Paris have been so glorious this week that this Pumpkin Pecan Chestnut Flour Tart was inspired simply by such spectacular leaf colours.

Autumn Le Vésinet Paris

Autumnal colours in Le Vésinet, west of Paris – inspiration for a pumpkin pecan chestnut flour tart!

Each time Autumn arrives, the family always ask for this Chestnut Flour Tart with Mushrooms since we all agree it’s special: it tastes like Autumn on a plate. It is simply divine and worth the effort to make the pastry.

It’s vegetarian, although we don’t mention this to Antoine, as he thinks we’re not feeding him otherwise. Somehow the lush, smooth taste of the chestnut flour pastry base fools us into thinking that there’s bacon or chicken in it – but no, it’s totally veggie.

pumpkin-chestnut-flour-tart

Having enjoyed my daughter, Julie’s presence so much while home from university these past few days, I’ve been away from le blog. How the time races while perusing bookshops for literature books and spending quality time together over pots of tea!

The result? Expect many recipes and articles over the next couple of weeks! So watch this space.

Luckily I snapped this shot just as the sun was fading in the Tuilerie Gardens. Night is falling now at 5pm and if I don’t act quick, there’s no point in taking photos in artificial light.

Paris Autumn inspiration for pumpkin pecan chestnut flour tart

Autumn in Paris’s Tuileries Gardens – inspiration for a Pumpkin Pecan Chestnut Flour Tart

As soon as we returned home, we were craving our favourite Chestnut flour tart. However, just before it was served, this night photo didn’t do it ANY justice.

pumpkin pecan chestnut flour tart

Shades of Autumn Foods

This time I made the filling with more autumnal orange, green and different brown leaf shades. Much more pumpkin replaces the mushrooms, plus leek, sage, toasted pecan nuts are thrown in for le crunch, and a thin topping of emmental cheese, gratinéd nicely while the tart is baking.

French potimarron or Japanese (red kuri squash) pumpkin is best for this tart recipe, as it is less watery, a bit floury and even tastes of chestnut. I thoroughly recommend using it, otherwise butternut squash is also good.
Update: However, if you use regular pumpkin or butternut squash – as they give off more liquid, I would recommend blind-baking the pastry first for 20 minutes, covered in parchment and baking beans.

We had scoffed the lot that evening – but it just so happened I had just enough chestnut flour pastry left to make two tartlets.  Thank heavens, as the next day the sun came out and I could finally take a snap or two before these were enjoyed for a bonus lunch.

pumpkin pecan and chestnut flour tart

Pumpkin Pecan Chestnut Flour Tart

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I posted the videos on how to make the large tart on Stories. For some weird reason, I can no longer add these to Highlights so that you continue to see them (I’ve contacted Instagram several times with no response or help since May! If you have any ideas, please let me know what could be the problem – much appreciated). So, imagine the recipe instructions are for one large tart as you look at the tartlets.

Baking tarts is made even easier with this clever oven-proof baking mat that’s rolled inside the rolling pin by Terraillon. Ever since I discovered this, I’m hooked!

pumpkin pecan chestnut flour tart method

Pumpkin Pecan Chestnut Flour Tart

Chestnut flour is easily available in health food stores and in the organic healthy sections of many supermarkets. If you haven’t tried it yet, I urge you to do so. It’s one of the staple ingredients in Corsican cooking and powerful in flavour – that’s why I mix it with all-purpose flour.

Please don’t be put off by making the pastry for this. You’ll discover the pastry is a pleasure to work with if you follow this recipe to the letter, using measurements in grams or ounces with a digital kitchen scale (find out here why measuring by weight rather than volume by cups makes baking life easier). It’s totally worth it – judge for yourself with these flavours!

Pumpkin Pecan Chestnut Flour Tart
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

The most lush, smooth French chestnut flour tart with the colours and taste of Autumn: chestnut pumpkin (potimarron), leeks, sage, pecan nuts and topped with a fine sprinkling of cheese. A great Vegetarian recipe for your holiday menu - and excellent served with leftover turkey.

Course: Light Lunch, Main, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: chestnut flour, pumpkin recipes, vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 650 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
Chestnut Flour Pastry
  • 100 g (3.5oz) Chestnut flour sifted
  • 150 g (5.5oz) Plain flour (all-purpose) I recommend T45
  • 125 g (4.5oz) unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt (fleur de sel)
  • 4-5 tbsp water
Pumpkin Filling
  • 500 g (18oz) chestnut pumpkin* roughly chopped into small squares
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 200 g (7oz) leek (about one large leek) sliced finely
  • 3 medium organic eggs
  • 200 g (7oz) single cream or crème fraîche (I use half fat)
  • 1 tbsp sage leaves finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 100 g (3.5oz) emmental cheese grated
  • 16 whole pecan nuts
Instructions
  1. First, preheat the oven (for the filling) to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6.

Make the chestnut flour pastry:
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a stand mixer or food processor and mix just until the dough forms a ball.  Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 mins. Remove the dough from the fridge and stand about 10 minutes to make it easy to roll out.

  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface then using the pastry roller, wrap around the pastry to transfer it to a loose-bottom tart tin (28cm).

  3. Press the pastry gently into the sides. Again with the roller, roll over the top of the tin to clean up the edges. Chill in the fridge for 40 minutes (this is important so the sides won't fall during baking later).
    * if using regular pumpkin which is more liquid, I'd recommend pre-baking the tart before filling it. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes covered in parchment and baking beans, then after filling the tart, bake for just a further 20-25 minutes.

Prepare the pumpkin tart filling:
  1. Roast the pumpkin whole in the oven for 15 minutes. This will make it easier to cut into slices. Let cool slightly then spoon out the seeds. 

  2. Place the pumpkin with 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a roasting tin and roast covered in the oven for 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil and gently soften the leeks.  As soon as they're translucent, turn down the heat to low and cover for 5 minutes to soften further.

  4. Whisk together the eggs, cream, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl.

  5. Spread out the roasted pumpkin evenly over the tart dough base, then the leek and pour over the creamy egg mixture.  Top with the pecan nuts then the cheese and bake in the oven for 40 minutes (if making small tartlets, bake for only 25 minutes).

Recipe Notes

Serve with a good Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc or a fruity red such as a Beaujolais Cru: Morgon, Brouilly, or Fleury.

* if using regular pumpkin or butternut squash which both give off much more liquid, it's best to pre-bake the tart for 20 minutes. Blind bake covered in parchment and baking beans before filling.

 

Nutritional Information for 6 servings:

650 calories per serving; 15g protein; 48g carbohydrates.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

 

pumpkin pecan and chestnut flour tarts

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog, my books, or fancy making this Pumpkin Pecan Chestnut Flour Tart?  Please do make my day and leave a comment below or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons on Instagram or Facebook – or please just tell your family and friends about the website!

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pumpkin pecan chestnut flour tart

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Personalised Gifts

Don’t forget that both recipe books, Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris (my personal favourite, as it’s macaron recipes and pastries too), are great gifts. If you grab your copy now, I can send you a personalised label to stick inside either book.

Just let me know by getting in touch privately via this contact form with your address details, what you’d like me to say in particular, and I’ll send it out with the warmest of wishes to you.

Pumpkin, Sage and Parmesan Financiers

Today the sun is shining again on the city we love so much.  While France is in shock and mourning, some Parisian shops opened this weekend, not giving in to being terrorised.

Paris view from Montmartre by Jill Colonna

Yesterday the skies were grey and all around was so desperately quiet. We stayed indoors, stunned, numbed by such violence, trying to digest what happened in Paris on Friday night. Our thoughts and sincere sympathies are with all those who have lost their precious loved ones.

We can’t even begin to imagine how it must feel. Paris needs our solidarity and support. As we get on with our lives in hope of peace, let’s not give in to fear by continuing to enjoy its beauty, its history, and its culture.

Pumpkin financiers, French savoury cakes

We lost our appetite but somehow steaming hot pumpkin and leek soup were comforting hugs in a bowl. With a bit of pumpkin left roasting in the pan, I rustled up some light, savoury cakes to accompany it.

A Bit of Parisian History – Financiers

I’ve called them Financiers but the only resemblance to the sweet, traditional almond teacake is the oblong moulds used, which are also used by Ladurée in Paris for their financiers. These were the original shape of the teacake before Monsieur Lasne, a rather enterprising pastry chef in the Stock Exchange (la Bourse) area, had the gem of an idea by changing them to gold bar shapes in 1890 for his financial clientele. Recipes for financiers, including a chocolate-hazelnut one, are in Teatime in Paris!

Silicone moulds are my favourite, as there’s no need to grease them before baking and the cakes just fall out on to the cooling rack. They’re best in these financier moulds but you can use any little cake moulds that you have. The pumpkin parmesan financiers are a delicious change to holiday apéritif pre-dinner drinks and, even if they’re quick to make, they also freeze well so ideal for planning ahead.

pumpkin parmesan financiers recipe

Pumpkin Parmesan Financiers

A savoury version of the French buttery teacakes, made with pumpkin, sage and parmesan – perfect party food with festive drinks.

Makes approx. 20 cakes

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20+15 minutes

150g pumpkin, roughly chopped into small chunks
1 tbsp sage, finely chopped
100g olive oil
200g plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
100g semi-skimmed milk
50g block parmesan, freshly grated
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
20g chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F (gas 4). Put the pumpkin in a roasting tin with half of the sage and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Roast for 20 minutes then remove from oven to cool.

2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl then, using a balloon whisk, beat in the eggs, olive oil and milk until you have a smooth paste. Add the parmesan, nutmeg, the rest of the sage then gradually whisk in the pumpkin (it will break up with the whisk which is just perfect as it won’t be a purée but tiny bits) and walnuts, if using.

3. Pour into financier silicone moulds (here I used traditional oblong shapes but you can use rectangular financier moulds – or madeleine moulds too) and bake for about 20 minutes until the cakes are golden brown.

Best served on the day but can also be frozen for up to a month to help you plan ahead for your holiday baking. Or prepare the batter the day before and bake when needed.

pumpkin parmesan financiers

To all my American friends – wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving from Paris!

Pumpkin Parmesan Financiers
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
A savoury version of the French buttery teacakes, made with pumpkin, sage and parmesan - perfect party food with festive drinks.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: French
Servings: 20 cakes
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 150 g / 5oz pumpkin roughly chopped into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp sage finely chopped
  • 100 g / 3.5oz olive oil
  • 200 g / 7oz plain all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g / 3.5oz semi-skimmed milk
  • 50 g block parmesan freshly grated
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 20 g / 0.75oz chopped walnuts optional
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F (gas 4). Put the pumpkin in a roasting tin with half of the sage and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes then remove from oven to cool.
  2. 2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl then, using a balloon whisk, beat in the eggs, olive oil and milk until you have a smooth paste. Add the parmesan, nutmeg, the rest of the sage then gradually whisk in the pumpkin (it will break up with the whisk which is just perfect as it won’t be a purée but tiny bits) and walnuts, if using.
  3. 3. Pour into financier silicone moulds (here I used traditional oblong shapes but you can use rectangular financier moulds – or madeleine moulds too) and bake for about 20 minutes until the cakes are golden brown.
Recipe Notes

Best served on the day but can also be frozen for up to a month to help you plan ahead for your holiday baking. Or prepare the batter the day before and bake when needed.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

 

Guest Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Bread

Paris this week has been blessed with an incredible Indian Summer. It’s hard to believe it’s Autumn but hey, let’s not complain! We’re supposed to hit 30°C today so the weekend is beckoning us to eat outside. We’re finally getting that August weather we never had.

Today you are all in for a treat.  I am thrilled to have the gorgeous, glowingly healthy, Kelly Hunt join us from Eat Yourself Skinny.

Why is she so healthy looking?  I’m sure her tempting eat-yourself-skinny recipes may just have something to do with it. En plus, although she has a love-hate relationship with running, she still manages to conquer the odd marathon. My favourite part, though, is that she not only adores her food but enjoys her wines, too. How lucky to have so many fabulous wineries in Virginia on her doorstep!

Ladies and gentlemen, macaronivores, let me hand you over to Kelly – she is about to share something particularly fabulous with us to welcome Autumn.

Kelly Hunt

 

Hello there lovely readers of Mad About Macarons!  I’m Kelly from Eat Yourself Skinny and I’m so excited to be sharing with you all today!  When Jill first asked me to guest post, I was beyond flattered and completely honored!  I mean c’mon guys, you read her posts every day…her pictures are gorgeous, her writing is witty and let’s face it, she has her own book!!  What in the world could I put together that would even be comparable to the lovely goodies she makes each day and keep you from clicking that little “x” at the top of your screen!
{Yikes}
Well I decided to go with something Fall and festive!  I give you my Pumpkin Spice Bread and boy was this delicious!  As most of you know, there seems to be a serious shortage on canned pumpkin this year (read my rant here) so attempting to find this necessity was quite the task, to say the least.  If you do come across some friends, {trust me} STOCK UP!!
pumpkin spiced loaf recipe

Anyway, I absolutely loved the combination of flavors in this bread.  You have cinnamon, pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves…ahem, need I go on??  This really turned out incredible, was perfectly moist and tasted sensationally sweet!

Have I sold you yet??

Well if not, the best part is this only takes about 10 minutes to whip up and is extremely easy! Enjoy a slice for breakfast in the morning or wrap up as great gifts for your family and friends.  I brought this particular loaf to my office to share with my co-workers and I’m happy to say there was none left!!  Feel free to add nuts or dried fruit to your mix for a great variation.

Did I mention I absolutely LOVE this time of year??  It doesn’t get much better than scarves, spiced lattes and the sweet aroma of delicious pumpkin bread!  Hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!

Pumpkin Spice Bread

 

 

spicy pumpkin bread recipe

 

Here are your ingredients:
Recipe adapted from Bella So Savvy

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan and set aside.

Mix sugar, baking soda, spices and flour together in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients, blending well.  Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack until completely cooled.  Enjoy!

pumpkin bread recipe

 

Thanks again Jill for inviting me to your fabulous blog to guest post!

Feel free to stop by my little bloggy anytime for more delicious recipes or even just to say hi!

XOXO

Merci beaucoup, Kelly. I’m heading out to grab that pumpkin (we’ll just have to make our own purée since the French haven’t thought of this one!) and make this as soon as I can. Your colleagues are so lucky to have you around to taste this beauty, Kelly. Don’t forget to check out Eat Yourself Skinny for many more recipes and say bonjour from me!  Enjoy your weekend.

Update: Apologies to all those who wanted to leave a comment and couldn’t.

We’ve had some crazy server problems so things have gone willy wonky.

Thanks so much for your patience!