Butternut squash is a close relative to the sugar pumpkin, and its delicate flavor and creamy texture make for the most delicious pie filling. So why not make it into an elegant tart? The rest just fell right into place. The cointreau highlights the butternut squash’s inherent citrus notes and the buttery pine-nut dough makes every bite of this tart melt in your mouth!
Note: The gelato will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, but is best eaten the day it’s made. Remove from freezer and let stand for 15-20 minutes until softened before serving.
The tart will keep for 12 hours at room temperature and is best eaten the day it is made. If you need to refrigerate it, make sure to bring it back to room temperature for 1 hour before serving. Refrigeration will make the crust a bit soggy.
The cranberry compote can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.
*Note: If you want to omit the crème fraîche, increase the milk to 4 cups and follow the recipe as above. However, omitting the crème fraîche will make the gelato a little icy, since it’ll be so low-fat.
Place 3 cups of the milk in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the milk reaches the boiling point, add the rosemary, reduce heat to medium, and simmer vigorously for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover the pan, and let stand for 15 minutes to infuse the milk. Strain the milk, discard the rosemary, and pour the milk back into the pan.
Place the remaining milk, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Reheat the infused milk over medium-high heat. As soon as the milk comes to a boil, quickly whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
Bring the mixture to a boil again and then reduce heat to medium and achieve a vigorous simmer. Continue whisking constantly for 5-6 minutes until the mixture has slightly thickened (it should be the consistency of heavy cream).
Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours in the refrigerator (or overnight), or 45 minutes in the freezer.
When the gelato is well chilled, whisk in the crème fraîche until well blended. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When done, transfer the gelato into a container with a tight lid and keep in the freezer.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, pine nuts, sugar, and salt. Process at high speed for 30 seconds, until the nuts are chopped finely. Add the chunks of butter and pulse until crumbly.
In a small bowl, mix together the milk and vanilla extract. Drizzle on the crumbly mixture and pulse until the dough comes together in a ball. Scrape the dough from the bowl, gather into a ball, and shape into a 4-by-4-inch smooth square (with no cracks on the sides). Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until it is cold, but still a bit soft if you press your finger in it.
Place the cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. (The sugar will melt and the cranberries will start to pop.)
Once the sugar is foaming at the edges, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the cranberries start to blister and the juices thicken. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
Place the honey and lemon juice in a small pan and cook over medium heat until the honey becomes liquid, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and keep in the pan.
Place the eggs, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip at high speed until the mixture is pale and ribbony, about 1-2 minutes. Add the cream, cointreau, orange zest, and butternut squash purée. Continue whipping at low speed until well incorporated. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Unwrap the dough and set it on a heavily floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour and roll it out to a 12-by-12-inch square. Gently lift the dough off the counter by sliding your hands flat under it and set it over a 9-by-9-inch square tart mold with a removable bottom (you can also use a 10-inch round tart mold).
Press the dough lightly against the sides. Trim the excess dough with a sharp knife. Set the mold on a baking sheet. Line the dough with aluminum foil and press carefully but firmly against the sides. Bake for 20 minutes until very pale yellow at the edges. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the aluminum foil.
Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Pour the squash mixture into the pre-baked tart shell. Bake for about 40 minutes until golden and slightly puffed up. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature in its mold.
Unmold the tart and dust with the powdered sugar. Cut the tart into 6-8 even rectangles. Place each slice in the center of a dessert plate. Place a small scoop of the rosemary gelato next to it and a spoonful of the cranberry compote. Drizzle with the honey syrup, garnish with a rosemary sprig, and serve immediately.