Honeynut Squash Tart

A baked Honeynut Squash Tart, decorated with leaf and acorn crust cutouts around the edge.

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You'll need to roast the squash for the filling and shape and blind bake the tart shell for this recipe before assembling and baking the tart. You can break these tasks up and do either or both a day ahead of baking the final tart to make things easier, though the recipe doesn't strictly call for that.


For Ginger Shortbread Crust

  • 1-1/2 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (50 grams) almond flour
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground  ginger
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) coarse kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

For Honeynut Filling:

  • 2 pounds honeynut squash
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) crème fraîche
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) coarse kosher salt


Make the Ginger Shortbread Crust (see note below about decorative cookies):

  1. Add the flour, almond flour, powdered sugar, ginger, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add in the butter and pulse 5-7 times, or until the butter is broken down into tiny pebbles.
  2. With the motor running, add in the egg and let the dough process until it forms together into a cohesive ball around the blade, about 1 minute.
  3. Remove the dough from the processor and shape it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap, then chill it for at least 30 minutes.

Roast the Squash:

  1. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 400ºF and place oven racks in the middle and lower parts of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and dry the honeynut squashes. On a sturdy cutting board, cut each squash in half lengthwise.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits and discard.
  4. Place each squash cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Flip the squashes cut-sides up and bake for another 15-30 minutes (it will vary greatly depending on the size of your squash), or until they are fork tender. Once tender, remove from the oven and let cool. 

Shape the Tart Shell:

  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and place on a flour-dusted work surface.
  2. Roll out the dough to an 11-inch circle and place it in a 9-inch tart pan, making sure to push the pastry into the edges of the pan. Trim off any excess dough. Place the tart shell in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Once chilled, line the tart shell with a round piece of parchment paper, then add pie weights (or dry rice or beans or lentils), making sure to push the pie weights to the edges.
  4. Bake on the lower rack for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully remove the parchment and pie weights. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the pastry is fully cooked through. Set aside until ready to use. 

Make the Filling, Assemble, and Bake:

  1. While the tart shell is chilling and baking, scoop out the roasted squash flesh from the skins. Place 15 ounces (about 1-¾ cups) of the roasted squash in a clean food processor or high-speed blender. Save any remaining squash for another use. Purée the squash until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  2. After the tart shell has been blind-baked, lower the oven to 325ºF.
  3. To the food processor with the honeynut puree, add the egg yolks, crème fraîche, sugar, ginger, vanilla extract, and salt. Process until smooth.
  4. Transfer the filling into the prepared tart shell and smooth over the top.
  5. Bake on the middle rack for 40-45 minutes, or until the filling has a matte appearance and has slightly puffed up on the edges. There should be no wobble in the middle of the tart.
  6. Remove the tart from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.
  7. The tart can be garnished with pie crust cookies (see notes for instructions) or with whipped cream!


If you want to make the decorative cutout pie crusts, make a double batch of the pie dough. Roll out the dough, stamp out the desired cookies, and place them on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar for a glossy and sparkly finished look. To be efficient with your time, you can also bake them with the pie crust when you blind bake, but for a shorter amount of time. Bake for 15 minutes at 375ºF.

Weighing your flour is the most accurate way to measure. If you aren't going to weigh it, make sure to spoon it into the cup, and then level it off. If you scoop the flour out with the measuring cup and then level, it could change the outcome of the final product.

This recipe was tested using Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt. If you use  Morton's kosher salt or fine salt decrease by about half for volume, or use the same amount by weight.