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Butternut squash tarte tatin

Preparation time

1-2 hours

Cooking time

10 to 30 mins


Serves 6-8


Suitable for vegetarians

Nutmeg, cinnamon and a drizzle of runny honey add sweetness and spice to butternut squash in this twist on French apple tarte tatin. Serve with citrus custard for an unusual dessert.


  • 600g/1lb 5oz butternut squash

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • pinch sea salt

  • 2 tbsp runny honey

  • 40g/1½oz golden caster sugar

  • 40g/1½oz salted butter

  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • plain flour, for dusting

  • 250g/9oz ready-rolled puff pastry

To serve

  • 200g/7oz fresh custard

  • 1 lemon, grated zest only


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

  2. Peel the squash and cut in half lengthways. Remove the seeds and cut the squash into 5mm/¼in slices. Toss the squash with the olive oil and arrange in a single layer on one or two baking trays. Season with a pinch of salt and roast for 15 minutes until golden-brown, but still a little firm to the touch. Remove and set aside.

  3. Put the honey, sugar and a tablespoon of cold water into a heavy-based 20cm/8in ovenproof frying pan and place over a medium heat. Cook gently, stirring now and again, until you have a golden caramel. Stir in the butter, nutmeg and cinnamon, then remove from the heat. (CAUTION: melted sugar gets very hot. Take care not to burn yourself.)

  4. Arrange the butternut squash slices in an overlapping fan pattern over the base of the pan: take great care as the caramel will be extremely hot. Cook for another 3–5 minutes until the syrup is deeply caramelised. Remove from the heat.

  5. On a worktop dusted with flour, cut out a disc of puff pastry that is 2cm/¾in larger than the pan you are using. Position the pastry over the butternut squash and tuck the edges down around the side, using the tip of a knife to ease it into place.

  6. Prick a few small holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape.

  7. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2 minutes, but no longer, otherwise the caramel will stick to the pan, making it difficult to remove the tart. Place a large plate on top of the pan and, in one swift movement, invert the tarte tatin onto the plate, taking care as the caramel will still be very hot.

  8. Mix together the custard and lemon zest and serve alongside the tarte tatin.


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