Autumn is a time for festivities. There are so many potlucks, holidays, and simple get-togethers that get planned once the weather turns a cooler leaf. I’m often asked to bring a shared dish to these events (something I enjoy), but don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen baking yet another cake for the dessert table.
I was inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s olive & feta tapenade tarte soleil, and immediately thought of so many wonderful fillings that could go inside of it: pesto, nutella, parmesan & dijon mustard - the list went on.
Last November, I made a pesto and parmesan cheese tarte soleil. It was the hit of appetizer hour at Friendsgiving. This year, I wanted to make something that reflected the season, and smelled of a joyous fall kitchen.
Pumpkin and sage were meant to be together, I think. This tarte soleil marries the two flavors, and sneaks in some additional treats to surprise you: pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and just a whiff of pumpkin spice.
Have I convinced you yet? It’s fun to assemble, and while it may look elegant, complicated, and slightly daunting - trust me, it’s very easy. And even if you make some mistakes cutting and twisting the rays of the soleil, no worries - it’s so beautiful and golden once it bakes that hardly anyone will notice if a ray or two are uneven or twist in the wrong direction (something I have done).
This pumpkin and sage tarte soleil with pine nuts has rightfully earned its place onto my, “make again, and again” list of recipes. It’s the perfect fall appetizer to share, and to literally break bread together, at any of your festivities.
Savory Pumpkin & Sage Tarte Soleil with Pine Nuts
Serves 4 as an appetizer
Two sheets puff pastry, defrosted, and cut to 10” circles
1 large egg mixed with 1 teaspoon milk (egg wash)
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
Pumpkin & Sage Filling
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 large shallot (or small yellow onion), finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sage, ground
½ tsp pumpkin spice, ground
¼ tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp black pepper, ground
1 cup pumpkin purée
¼ cup pine nuts, finely chopped
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Parchment-lined baking sheets
Make the pumpkin & sage filling
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot, and cook until the shallot is translucent.
Add the kosher salt, sage, pumpkin spice, red chili flakes, and black pepper. Cook until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the pumpkin purée, and cook for 3 minutes, until the purée is paste-like, and darker in color. Cool to room temperature (you can place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes).
Make the tarte soleil
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the puff pastry sheets to 10” circles. Place one 10” puff pastry circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Evenly spread the pumpkin and sage filling onto the circle, leaving a ½“ border around the edge. Sprinkle the chopped pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese over the pumpkin filling. Cover the circle with the second 10” circle, and seal the edges.
Place a small glass (about 1-2” diameter) onto the middle of the circle. Cut the circle into 4 even sections, cutting away from the glass in the middle. Cut each section in half, making 8 even sections. Repeat, and cut each of the 8 sections in half, making 16 sections. If you want to, repeat again to make 32 sections. If the sections are difficult to shape or are falling apart, your pastry might be too warm - transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes for a quick fix.
Remove glass. Lift a section, and twist three times. Repeat with remaining sections, making sure to twist in the same direction. Place tarte soleil in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Make the egg wash: mix one egg with 1 teaspoon of milk until combined. Brush tarte soleil with the egg wash mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese all over.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm (best on the day it’s made).
Tarte soleil can be made in advance - just freeze after shaping (step 4), and bake without defrosting. If you make this recipe, share with me at @afsana and tag #afsanaliza on Instagram so I can see!