Friday, 21 March 2014

Spicy Pumpkin and Feta Tart

I love pumpkin season. I love to watch the steely clouds snuggle up overhead while I drink a Skinny Pumpkin Latte. I love to listen to the rain against the tin roof as I eat another slice of Pumpkin Cinnamon Bread for breakfast. I love to have one or three Baked Mini Buttermilk Pumpkin Doughnuts with Brown Butter-Maple Glaze as a reward for braving the elements during my workout. I love to sit in the quiet and flip through a magazine while I eat a slice of Spicy Pumpkin and Feta Tart for lunch. I love to slide under a quilt with a good book and a Fudgy Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cup Brownie. I love to slice into a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll for afternoon tea in the garden where the air is pleasantly crisp.  I love to share a big dish of Pumpkin and Spinach Rotolo with my family in the dark, chilly evening. I love to put the kids to bed, collapse on the sofa and watch an episode of The Wire with a Pumpkin S'mores Cupcake and a cup of hot tea. Not all in one day of course. Although...

Spicy Pumpkin and Feta Tart
adapted from Alice Hart's Vegetarian
Serves 4

For the Rough Puff Pastry:
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons chilled water

For the Topping:
400g pumpkin, seeds removed and sliced into thin wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
100g feta
1 tablespoon Harissa
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons light cream cheese
2 tablespoons thick Greek yoghurt
4 thyme sprigs, leaves removed

Make the Rough Puff Pastry:
Put the flour and salt into a food processor and whiz briefly to mix. Add the butter and blitz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the ice water and process briefly until the mixture forms a ball of dough around the blade.

Turn the dough out and bring it together with your hands, wrap it in cling film. Chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into a 30 x 15cm rectangle. Fold it into thirds, like you would a business letter (if you can remember what one of those is). Roll the dough in the opposite direction into another 30 x 15cm rectangle and fold it into thirds again.Chill for another 30 minutes in refrigerator before using.

Prepare the Topping:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Put the pumpkin wedges into a bowl with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Lay the pumpkin on a baking tray in a single layer and roast for about 25 minutes, until they are soft and start to brown at the edges.

Reduce the oven temperature to 190 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Set aside.

Take the chilled pastry and roll it out to about 3mm thick. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges and make a 30 x 25cm rectangle. Lay the pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, yoghurt, egg and harrisa together until combined. Take 50g of the feta and crumble it finely, add it to the mixture and stir it in. 

Dollop spoonfuls of the harissa mixture over the pastry, leave a 1cm border around the edges. Lay the roasted pumpkin evenly over the top, crumble the remaining feta over it and sprinkle with thyme leaves.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until puffed and the cheese starts to turn golden.


  1. So pretty! I'd take this any time of the year...

    1. It wouldn't be right not to enjoy a tart like this at other times of the year.

  2. I love pumpkin! In october, the market is always full of those and I always buy one to make puree for all year! But sliced like this on a tart, it's genius! :)

    1. I make my own pumpkin puree too. Australians tend to eat pumpkins in savoury this more than sweet things. Roasted pumpkin is a must for a roast dinner here.

  3. Beautiful photos!! And all of your pumpkin recipes? Swoon. I'd die of happiness if I got to sample all of them in one day. I can't believe you made your own puff pastry for this--I'm so impressed! I'm also OBSESSED with that photo of the thyme--how did you get such beautiful clarity in your shot?! Amazing!

    1. Thanks so much Erica.The puff pastry is really pretty easy, it just takes a little time (resting in the fridge). The thyme is from my garden and I just threw it on the bench and took a snap. I wish I could tell you it was more technical than that, but sometimes things just come together without thinking about it too much. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  4. Wow! I love the combo of pumpkin and feta!

    1. Me too Jessica. Sweet pumpkin, salty feta. YUM!

  5. This looks so delicious and perfect really for anytime of the year.. I would love to have a day where all I ate was pumpkin. A dream!