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Free Recipe from our Book of the Week, The Cook & Baker

September 18, 2015


Rustic Pumpkin, Ricotta and Caramelised Onion Tart

The delicious partnership of roasted pumpkin, ricotta and caramelised onion makes this a great summer tart to take to a picnic in the park. It will only take moments to assemble once you have made the pizza dough and filling.

Serves 8 • Makes one 30 cm (12 inch) tart • Preparation time 30 minutes plus cooling time • Cooking time 1 hour 10 minutes

750 g (1 lb 10 oz/5 cups) seeded, peeled and chopped into 3 cm (1¼ inch) pieces uncooked pumpkin

olive oil, to coat and drizzle

250 g (9 oz/6¼ cups) English spinach

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz/41⁄3 cups) fresh ricotta cheese

25 g (1 oz/¼ cup) grated parmesan

2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

salt and pepper

125 g (4½ oz/½ cup) Caramelised Onion

1 quantity Pizza Dough

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tin with baking paper. Toss in the pumpkin cubes with enough oil to lightly coat. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Sauté the spinach in a frying pan over high heat for 1–2 minutes until wilted, leave to cool, then use your hands to squeeze dry.

In a large bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan, eggs and salt and pepper. Fold through the pumpkin, spinach and caramelised onions.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to 40 cm (16 inches) round and 5 mm (¼ inch) thick.

Transfer the rolled dough to the prepared tray. Spread the ricotta mix over the pizza dough leaving a 5 cm (2 inch) border. Gather the edge of the dough and drape back over the filling to create a ruffled look.

Bake for 40–45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

This is delicious served hot or at room temperature.

Caramelised Onion

Makes about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2 cups) • Preparation time 20 minutes • Cooking time 30 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 large red or brown onions,
thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over low heat. Add the onions and salt and cook for 15–20 minutes until softened. Stir frequently to prevent them from browning.

When the onion is cooked and lightly golden, stir in the sugar and vinegar. Continue to cook over low heat for a further 5–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised.


Pizza Dough

Makes about 1.2 kg (2 lb 10 oz) • Preparation time 20 minutes plus 30 minutes proving time for dough

750 g (1 lb 10 oz/5 cups) plain

(all-purpose) flour

40 g (1½ oz) dried yeast

¼ teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

400 ml (14 fl oz) tepid water

2 tablespoons olive oil

Place the flour, dried yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add the tepid water and oil and mix on low speed until combined. Knead the dough at this speed for approximately 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, approximately 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 30 seconds until the dough is its original size. Shape the dough into a ball, and press lightly to flatten.




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