Wednesday, 10 December 2014

John Torode’s Pumpkin and Nutmeg Tarts

I love food and cooking, but have confessed that I am not good at baking. I wish I were! I feel that I have a key cooking skill missing. When I do try baking I like simple recipes which have very little which can go wrong, and don’t involve the intuition and skill of an experienced pastry cook or cake aficionado. I know lots of people completely passionate about baking, and I am endlessly impressed by their patience, accuracy and attention to detail.  

John Torode is a chef who doesn’t need much introduction. He’s obviously famous from his appearances on Masterchef. Torode made his reputation working at Quaglino’s and Mezzo before opening his own Smiths of Smithfield, Cafeteria, and The Luxe. The author of numerous cookbooks, John Torode is an all-round cooking expert. 

So I am delighted to bring you a perfect Autumn/Winter recipe of his that is simple, achievable and packs a big flavour punch. It has lovely texture contrasts and is full of the tastes that you crave at this time of year.

I hope you enjoy cooking and eating this tasty treat!

Pumpkin and Nutmeg Tarts by John Torode

Pumpkin and nutmeg tarts are a small, sweet version of the classic tart, a combination that is a particular favourite of John’s. Ideally, they are better served after a cooling period rather than just cooked, as they can be brittle when hot.  Enjoy John’s Pumpkin and Nutmeg tarts as a treat, served best with a cup of tea. John Torode suggests Tassimo English Breakfast Tea.

Makes approximately 8-10 individual tarts.

You will need a medium saucepan and 8-10 small pie tins.


1kg of short-crust pastry

500g pumpkin (or butternut squash) unpeeled

100g brown sugar

1 tbsp corn flour

1 egg

1 tsp nutmeg

Milk (for glazing)

1 tbsp caster sugar


1.       Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/gas mark 6.

2.       Chop the pumpkin into good size chunks, then place them into the oven to bake for 30 minutes, or until soft.

3.       Whist the chunks are baking, roll out the pastry until about 1cm thick, and cut into circles slightly larger than the base of the tins.

4.       Line the 8-10 small pie tins with the circle cut pastry, leaving enough for a lid, afterward place in the fridge for 20 minutes.

5.       Whilst the pumpkin is still hot, scoop the flesh from the skin. Discard the skin.

6.       In a bowl, whisk the pumpkin until smooth.

7.       Beat the sugar, egg and nutmeg together, then add to the pumpkin and whisk some more.

8.       Let the filling cool, and then spoon the mix into the chilled tart cases.

9.       With the remaining pastry, cut shapes for the top of the tarts and place on top of the filling. Brush the tops with milk and scatter with caster sugar.

10.    Place pie dishes on larger baking tray (in case any liquid leaks out) and bake for 25 minutes.

11.   Allow to cool before turning out.

Thank you to John Torode and the people at Tassimo for allowing me to share this recipe with my readers.

I have not received any payment or gift for this blog post.

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