A lot of people shy away from homemade tatins because of the caramel factor. This recipe takes an easy approach by whisking a small portion of sugar into the butter used to sauté the pumpkin, rather than making an entire pot of sticky, messy caramel. If you’re afraid to flambé, leave the rum part out, because the only way to really burn off the alcohol is to ignite some flames.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Melt the butter in a small sauté pan, approximately 5 inches in diameter, and sauté the pumpkins until soft, about 2 minutes. Remove the slices of pumpkin and whisk the sugar in the pan and let it cook until it reaches the lightest shade of caramel, about 3-4 minutes. Over the heat, add the pumpkin slices back to the pan and turn once so they’re evenly coated in the sugary caramel. Then arrange the slices in an overlapping, circular pattern over the entire surface, similar to how you would arrange apple slices for a tatin. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rum, then, while standing away from the stove, add the pan back to the heat, carefully tipping the pan away from you so that it’s facing the back of the stove and it’s tipped just enough for the contents of it touches the burner’s flame. Your pumpkin slices will flambé, or light on fire. Let the alcohol burn off until the flames have died down. If you do not have a gas stove, you can also do this using a long match or lighter.
Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the pastry round to the top of the pumpkin slices, gently patting it down against the slices. Be careful not to overhandle the pastry dough, because the heat from the pumpkins and your hands will cause it to become too soft. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Invert the pastry onto a plate so that the caramelized pumpkin slices are facing upward. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.