Rustic Butternut Squash Tart

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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For the crust:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp table salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, cold
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup ice water

For the filling:
2 1/2- 3 lb butternut squash (about 2 medium), peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red onion, diced
4 Tbsp canola oil (for browning squash and onions)
4 medium poblano peppers, roasted and diced
8 oz queso Oaxaca
2 tomatoes, drained and diced
4 Tbsp cilantro, coarsely chopped
6 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp mild green chile powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt


For the crust:
Pulse dry ingredients in a food processor. Add shortening and butter and pulse for 2 seconds, 5 times. Add ice water until the dough comes together. Don’t feel you have to use it all if you don’t need to. Pulse for 2 more seconds. Stop. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the fridge.

For the filling:
Note: Mozzarella is a good substitute if you can’t find queso Oaxaca.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Start by caramelizing the onions and squash on the stove top. The onions won’t take as long as the squash, so it’s best to do them separately. Make sure you keep the squash on long enough to cook it most of the way.

Once your squash and onions are done, mix all of your filling ingredients in bowl and set aside.

Divide your chilled dough in half and roll out one of the two pieces to make a rough circle. Gently transfer the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Mound up half of your filling in the center of the dough. Your mound will be pretty high. Think pyramid more than dome. Gently fold the edges of the dough to wrap up and around the filling.

Repeat this process so you have two tarts. These won’t be too big (~8 inches in diameter) so you may even be able to fit them both on the same baking sheet. Make a loose cover out of tinfoil to cover the top of the tarts. Bake, covered, at 375 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the crust begins to brown around the edges. Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Makes 2 Rustic Butternut Squash Tarts.