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Macadamia and Butternut Squash Tartlets
Michel Richard, Citronelle
This recipe makes four 4-inch tartlets.
For the tart shell (yields two pounds):
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
Pinch of salt
4 cups pastry flour
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, almond flour, and salt. When they're well-combined, add the eggs one by one. Add 1/3 cup of pastry flour and continue mixing until combined. When it's incorporated, add the remaining flour and other remaining ingredients all at once. Mix until just combined. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times with your hands. Roll the dough to a rectangle shape (less than one inch thick), wrap it in plastic, and cool in the refrigerator.
For the filling:
1 pound pate sucre dough
2 cups maple syrup, reduced by half (1 cup)
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts, roasted in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes
2 cups butternut squash, diced to 1/2-inch cubes
4 1/4 cups orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
4 four-inch tart rings 3/4-inch deep
Preheat the oven to 325.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the sucre dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut four circles to about six inches in diameter. Place the dough circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside in the refrigerator. Line another baking sheet with a Silpat and place the four tart molds on top. Take the chilled rounds of dough and place one on top of each ring. With your fingers, press the dough down carefully. Trim any excess dough from the edges.
Make sure the maple syrup is cool but not cold and pour it into a bowl. Add two tablespoons of butter, eggs, and almond flour, and stir until smooth.
Sprinkle nuts evenly over each tart shell. Carefully fill the shells with the maple syrup mixture. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, taking care not to overcook them (they should seem almost uncooked). Meanwhile, combine the butternut squash, orange juice, cinnamon stick, two tablespoons of butter, sugar, and lemon juice in a pot. Bring to a simmer and let cook about ten minutes until the squash is translucent. Remove from heat. Strain out the liquid. When the tarts are finished cooking, divide the poached butternut squash cubes among them. Serve immediately.
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