Organic mini pumpkin and ricotta tarts with spiced honey

Makes 40
2 hours

Ingredients

Roast pumpkin

  • 2 organic pumpkins, or 1 large butternut squash
  • salt

Spiced honey

  • 250ml of lemon juice
  • 300ml of orange juice
  • 500ml of xeres vinegar
  • 500g of honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, about 5g, sliced
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12g of salt
  • 12g of mixed spice
  • 7g of cloves
  • 5 slices of orange peel
  • 7g of juniper berries
  • 7g of fennel seeds
  • 3g of cumin seeds
  • 3g of coriander seeds
  • 3g of black peppercorns
  • 1g of smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper

Tart bases

  • 250g of puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze

To assemble

  • 250g of ricotta
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 30g of Parmesan, shaved

Method

1
Make the spiced honey the day before to give it time to infuse. Place the lemon juice in a small pan over a medium heat and cook down for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Transfer to a large pan
  • 250ml of lemon juice
2
Repeat with the orange juice, then with the sherry so that all 3 are reduced down to intensify their individual flavours before combining in one large pan
  • 300ml of orange juice
  • 500ml of xeres vinegar
3
Add the honey and all of the spices to the pan and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 1 day
  • 500g of honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, about 5g, sliced
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12g of salt
  • 12g of mixed spice
  • 7g of cloves
  • 5 slices of orange peel
  • 7g of juniper berries
  • 7g of fennel seeds
  • 3g of cumin seeds
  • 3g of coriander seeds
  • 3g of black peppercorns
  • 1g of smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
4
After this time, strain the infused honey through a fine sieve to remove the spices and store in jars until needed. If storing for longer, ensure the jars are sterilised and then sealed
5
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
6
Halve your pumpkins (or quarter if they are very large) and remove the seeds. Place in a large baking tray and sprinkle over a good pinch of salt and drizzle over 1–2 tbsp of the spiced honey
  • 2 organic pumpkins, or butternut squash
  • salt
7
Roast in the oven for 45–60 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a knife. Allow to cool slightly then scoop out the flesh into a pan (this should give about 400–500g)
8
Add 25g of the spiced honey and another pinch of salt to the pan. Place over a medium heat and cook together for 5–10 minutes until thickened, mashing up the pumpkin as it cooks
  • salt
9
Transfer to a blender and blitz to form a smooth purée. Allow to cool before assembling the tarts
10
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 5. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper
11
Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 5mm and cut out 3cm discs with a round pastry cutter. Place on the lined baking trays and allow to firm up slightly in the fridge for 15 minutes
  • 250g of puff pastry
12
Glaze the chilled pastry with the beaten egg yolk then cover with a sheet of baking paper and place another tray on top to keep the pastry flat. Bake in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool on a wire rack
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
13
To assemble the tarts, spread a tsp of the pumpkin purée over each pastry base. Top with the ricotta, spooning small blobs over the purée and garnish with the fresh thyme leaves and Parmesan shavings
  • 250g of ricotta
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 30g of Parmesan, shaved