A light lunchtime seasonal starter by Tom Aikens. Consider an extra splash of sophistication with a mixed leaf garnish and drizzle of pine nut dressing.

Ingredients (Makes 4 individual tarts)

Pumpkin Puree

200g rough diced pumpkin

25g shallots

Knob of butter

150ml of double cream

10g of ginger, grated

1 pinch of salt

3 pinches of pepper

Pumpkin and Ricotta

100g of 2cm dice pumpkin

15mls of olive oil

2 sprigs of picked thyme

1 pinch of salt

3 pinches of pepper

100g ricotta cheese


50g crème fraiche

50ml whole milk

50ml double cream

2 eggs


125g plain flour

1 pinch of salt

55g butter, cubed

2-3 tbsp cold water


  1. To make the puree peel and de-seed the pumpkin and cut into a rough dice. Sweat off the shallots in the butter, then add the squash and ginger and gently cook for approximately 5 minutes in an oiled pan. Add 150ml cream and cook until the pumpkin is tender, then strain off the cream and blend the squash to a puree. Add back some of the strained cream ifneeded to give it a smooth consistency.
  2. To make the Pastry put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter. Rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in just enough cold water to bind the dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 10-15 mins.
  3. Pumpkin and Ricotta: Peel and dice the pumpkin, place in a large bowl, dress with olive oil, thyme and seasoning, place on a large tray and cover with foil. Cook at 160°C until tender. Crumble the ricotta and leave to one side until ready to assemble.
  4. Main filling: Whisk the crème fraiche, whole milk, double cream and 2 eggs together in a large bowl.
  5. To assemble: Line 4 individual tart tins with the pastry, then pour 1tbsp of puree in each tin and spread it around the pastry bottom using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the pumpkin and ricotta over the top of the puree, then pour in the filling. Add the final small spoonful’s of the pumpkin puree on top and garnish with the thyme. Bake the tarts in the oven at 160°C for 15 minutes.

This recipe was kindly donated to the #PumpkinRescue campaign by Tom's Kitchen.