Recipes Desserts:

Butternut Squash Tart with Pomegranate-Cranberry Glaze

Susan Spungen
Butternut Squash Tart with Pomegranate-Cranberry Glaze


“I created a similar dessert to this about a year ago for a magazine client, but they were not into the glaze, and there were other compromises that had to be made to make the recipe easier. I couldn’t get the idea of a cranberry-glazed squash tart though, so when the FeedFeed invited me to their Friendsgiving this year, I thought it would be the perfect thing to recreate and bring. I had to create it on the fly, because I had a very busy week that week, so I hadn’t written anything down. When I brought it to the party, everyone got very excited about how it looked, and also how it tasted–and that’s saying a lot since the room was full of Instagrammers! After that, I perfected the recipe so I could post it on my site and share it with others. I added a layer of chocolate to line the tart shell and keep it crisp, because I wasn’t happy with the soggy crust the first time, (but no one else seemed to mind!).”

Serves 10 to 12

For the crust:

  • 13 whole graham crackers (to yield 1 ¾ cups)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted

For the filling:

  • 1 pound precut peeled butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 3 ounces whole milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

For the glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¼ cup sugar

To finish:

  • 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds

The Prep

  1. Heat oven to 375°. Process graham crackers, sugar, and salt in the bowl of food processor until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter, and pulse to combine. The mixture should feel like wet sand. Spread out in an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press in, taking care to build up the sides so you’ll have a nice top edge. Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool for about 10 minutes, and spread evenly with the chocolate. Let cool while you make the filling.
  2. Toss butternut squash with the melted butter and roast until tender, about 35-40 minutes. The tip of a paring knife should slide in easily when done.
  3. Reduce oven heat to 350°. Transfer squash to a blender, and blend until smooth. Add milk, eggs, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, and spices, and blend until well combined. Pour into the cooled crust, place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until slightly puffed at the edges. Place on a cooling rack. Once cool, you can refrigerate for up to 2 days if not serving right away.
  4. To make glaze, slowly whisk the pomegranate juice into the cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth. Combine with the cranberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes, until cranberries have all burst and are very soft. Let cool slightly, and pass through a sieve set over a bowl, using a rubber spatula to squeeze out all of the liquid. Scrape the back side of the strainer and stir the glaze. If it looks too thick to pour smoothly, add a few drops of water. Pour over the tart (it can be chilled, or just cool enough to handle), and tip it around so the glaze is even. Decorate the edge with the pomegranate seeds. Chill until ready to serve.
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