1 1/2 cups cooked butternut or other winter squash or pumpkin puree
1/4 cup turbinado or light brown sugar(or more if using squash
that is not as sweet as others)
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon white pepper or just a few grinds of freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons brandy
1 egg yolk
1 cup half-and-half
To prepare the tart shell: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt
and baking powder.
Place the toasted pecans in a food processor and finely chop.
Add the flour mixture to the pecans and pulse to mix.
Add the butter and pulse until it is the texture of cornmeal.
Place the dough mixture back into the bowl and sprinkle with the milk, tossing
lightly to moisten evenly. Stir the dough with a fork until it comes together
in small lumps.
Press the dough into a large thick mound and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill
at least 4 hours.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12- to 13-inch
circle to fit an 11-inch tart pan. Fold in half and place in the pan. Ease gently
into the contours of the pan. Prick the bottom with a fork. Cover with plastic
wrap and chill or freeze for 20-30 minutes.
To prepare the praline topping: Place the pecans on a parchment-lined baking
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over low heat
until the sugar dissolves. Cover and bring to a boil. Leave cover on until the
condensation washes down the sides of the pan. Uncover, adjust the heat to medium,
and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until the sugar turns amber.
Pour the mixture over the pecans. Let cool about an hour.
Chop the praline into small pieces and set aside.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the crust with foil and fill with dried
beans or pie weights.
Bake about 20 minutes or until the pastry is set and dry on the bottom.
To prepare the filling: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the squash puree, sugars, ginger,
cloves, cinnamon, salt and brandy. Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk and half-and-half.
Pour into the pre-baked shell and bake 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the chopped praline pecan topping,
avoiding the center of the tart.
Continue baking another 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the filling
halfway between the edge and the center of the tart comes out clean.
Serve warm with creme fraîche, mascarpone or heavy whipped cream.