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capturing passion in pieces

Passport & Plate - The Sensational Cinnamon Pumpkin Tart

South Africa | Thursday, 30 January 2014 | 5 photos

The Sensational Cinnamon Pumpkin Tart
[To be eaten with the Main Course]

Serves 6-8 people


3 cups of Pumpkin (We always use Butternuts)
1 cup of Flour
1 cup of Sugar
1 tablespoon of Baking Powder
3 eggs
250ml Fresh Cream
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
1-3 teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder
1 or 2 handfuls of Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


How to prepare this recipe

1. Preheat your oven at 180°C

2. Use a good medium sized Mixing Bowl and add together the Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Eggs and Cream. Mix well.

3. Peel, dice up, boil and mash the Pumpkin.

4. Add mashed-up Pumpkin to the mixture and mix well. [You can blend the mixture if you prefer a silky smooth finish.]

5. Add the Vanilla Essence now. Mix well.

6. Pour the mixture into a large pie bowl and sprinkle with Cinnamon. [Don’t hold back on the Cinnamon, if one teaspoon isn’t enough, you can stretch it to 3 teaspoons.]

7. Pop the pie bowl into the oven and bake for 1 hour. [After 30 minutes, you can take the tart out and add the Roasted Pumpkin Seeds before placing it back into the oven.

And like we say in Afrikaans… “Smaaklike Ete!!”


The story behind this recipe
The first time I saw them, we were driving to my aunt Adi on the farm. I was just a kid and mistook the orange butternut pumpkins for alien ostrich eggs. Had I known then that those smooth skinned vegetables scattered across the field would one day become the main ingredient in my favourite tart, I would’ve asked for a piece of land in that small town.

Where I come from butternuts are chopped in half, stuffed with bacon and feta cheese and after a dash of olive oil and some herb spices, it's popped into the oven. Often you may also find them diced up in stir-fry, lying among roasted veggies or even peeking out of a salad with some rocket, beetroot and balsamic. But everyone here knows that when this pumpkin is mashed-up, there is only one form that it's going to end up as: tart.

I remember playing outside aunt Adi's back door and watching ants carry away some of the pumpkin seeds that had splashed next to her compost heap. That Sunday afternoon as we sat at the long wooden table the sweet smell of cinnamon overshadowed the roast beef for me. I was old enough to dish up for myself and served a good helping of tart in my plate.

As my teeth sank through the firm, soft exterior of the tart, the smell of cinnamon sticks and fresh cream rushed to my nose. The warm tart had the texture of a crème brulee without the crunch and the taste of a chai latte mixed with good old-fashioned farm pumpkin. Mesmerized. It was like I was destined to meet The Sensational Cinnamon Pumpkin Tart so that I could one day share it with the world.

I treasured aunt Adi’s recipe for years. My neat handwriting as a kid had now become a scribble, and my wife smiled affectionately at the recipe that I had managed to keep for so long. I only needed to convince her once to make the tart. Now that she understands its heritage, my most sentimental heart and have tasted it for herself, I know with certainty; Sundays in our home will be one filled with children, togetherness and always, pumpkin tart.

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