Butternut Squash Tarte Tatin

by Matt on November 24, 2010

Oh this little butternet squash tarte tatin, how much do I love you? Enough to have you three times over the past few weeks, all for the sake of “recipe testing”, you know.

And honestly, this upside-down tart is probably one of the best things I’ve had all season, if I do say so myself.

Sweet butternut squash is roasted and then placed on top of caramel in a baking pan. The whole thing is covered with puff pastry and baked, and when it’s ready you invert the whole thing onto a plate and just go for it. I’ve tried to be nice when eating this but you can’t, it just disappears so fast. It was a hit during our Friendsgiving last Sunday, but in a quick misfire of timing and communication it landed on the table during the meal and not as dessert. You know what? It didn’t matter. It was sweet and buttery, perfect with Gaby’s stuffing and just about everything else that afternoon.

Honestly, I do think you’ll love it.

Butternut Squash Tarte Tatin serves 8

4 cups butternut squash cut into 1-inch cubes
1–2 tablespoons canola oil
a pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
a dash of nutmeg
1 (about 8-oz) sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed

For the squash: heat oven to 400˚F. Toss the squash cubes in 1–2 tablespoons of canola oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and roast until tender, about 30-35 minutes, turning once during baking to insure even cooking and browning. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the caramel.

With the oven still at 400˚F, move the oven rack to the top position.

Melt butter over medium heat in a nonstick skillet, stir in sugar and cook until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes, swirling skillet often. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg; pour caramel into an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan. Place roasted squash over caramel. Unfold the puff pastry over the squash and fold any excess pastry down the sides of the pan and under. Prick the pastry with a fork all over and place in already hot oven for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate, being careful not to burn yourself. It’s hot! Cut and serve. It’s fantastic with crème fraiche, ice cream or a nice dollop of whipped cream. Or as is. I’m not picky.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Hope you have a fantastic holiday tomorrow!

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kalynskitchen November 24, 2010 at 10:06 am

Oh yes indeed, this looks just fantastic. I think butternut squash might be the most versatile winter ingredient of all.

Sally November 24, 2010 at 10:26 am

Yes! I could eat this three times in a week, no problem. Might even sneak in a few apples, too.

Nuala November 24, 2010 at 10:30 am


tarte are my favourites and love the look of this one!
Three times in a week I salute you! Keep up the good work :-)

christelle is flabbergasting November 24, 2010 at 10:40 am

This looks insane!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Christmas Sweets November 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

Oh my the recipe is absolutely fantastic! Just look at that picture. I could probably eat the entire thing. I love butternut squash that’s why.

Nicole November 24, 2010 at 11:55 am

Wow! Pretty, simple and no fancy pan required. Love it.

Nicole November 24, 2010 at 12:38 pm

That looks amazing! Bet it would be great with sweet potato, too!

marla {family fresh cooking} November 24, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Dang this tart tatin sounds great. Love that you used butternut squash instead of the usual apple version. Happy Thanksgiving :) xo

Richard November 24, 2010 at 3:23 pm

These are excellent recipes. I continue to love everything you post. Thank you for your great site.

Gaby November 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm

omg this was freaking delicious!!! I could have eaten the entire thing by myself for sure :)

Shaina November 24, 2010 at 7:08 pm

We too have “Friendsgiving” every year. What a wonderful tradition.

Tracy November 24, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Wow. I was going to roast my butternut squash with shallots and sage, but I have other plans now!

expastrychef November 24, 2010 at 8:23 pm

I think I might try this with brown sugar. Looks awesome! Oh there are so many variations on this I can think of!!

LimeCake November 24, 2010 at 9:42 pm

sweet butternut squash, caramel, buttery pastry… is there anything better? I’ll have me a slice of that, please.

Lois November 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Oh, what a fancy idea! I do have a small butternut squash in my kitchen right now, and I do know what it will turn into this afternoon :-)

Moms_GoingGreen November 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

I can’t wait to make this, looks delicious!

Marie November 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I saw this yesterday from a friend who posted it on Face book.
guess what?….it’s in the oven as we speak! Thanks for helping me bring
(i’m hoping,) it to be the best dish to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner today!
p.s I doubled it up and putting into a 9×11 in’ dish!

Lori November 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Yummy! Tarte tatin is a “sometimes food.” haha! I linked to this and the pureed squash with shaved parmesan recipe in my blog. I grew Hubbard squash this summer and was looking for some good recipes. I think I found them! Thanks!

Tom @ Tall Clover Farm November 29, 2010 at 8:53 pm

I’m going to live on the edge and try this with a pureed squash on the bottom of the pan. May be great or may be spoon bread. ;-)

Alissa @ Not Just Apples February 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Great idea! I love reinventing classics in a healthy way :)

Mariel Morris July 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Although butternut squash is not in season, I’m dying to try this recipe now! Looks delish!

Marvin Jansen November 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Thanks Matt! Sounds delicious and simple.

Carciofo February 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I have just tried this tarte, i’ve made my own pate brisée as i always do; it’s so easy and the difference it makes, well, is a positive one.. ;-), Well, it is wonderful and amazing and comforting and swanky at the same time and funky also!! I love it, how i do! I put some fleur de sel on the top of the final result baked and twisted, oh mine..!! I love your style Matt, i have also tried your Lemon Cupcakes which were equaly lovely and perfect, Best wishes&hug!

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