Maple, bacon and pumpkin is a stellar flavour combination. This tart is from the menu of a popular bistro called Pinbone in Woollahra, Sydney. The original recipe required homemade puff pastry. I chose the easier path and made this with frozen puff pastry. In addition the original recipe calls for the pumpkin to be roasted and the caramelisation adds extra flavour. However, sometimes I just steam the pumpkin in the microwave because I find that the difference is barely noticeable due to the strong flavours coming from the bacon and maple syrup. Plus it is much more convenient because the pumpkin is prepared while the oven is preheating, so it is much faster (you save around 30 minutes of cooking time). So I have provided directions for both methods.
Course: Brunch, Meal, Tart
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats
1sheet store bought frozen puff pastry, thawed (25 cm x 25cm / 10" x 10")
8slicesstreaky bacon(Note 1)
1 1/2tbspmaple syrup(Note 2)
7 oz / 200g butternut or Jap pumpkin, peeled and roughly diced into 1.5cm/0.5" cubes
1/2tbspolive oil(only required if roasting the pumpkin)
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 220C/425F.
Spray a baking tray with olive oil (or grease with butter or oil)
Cook Pumpkin either by roasting or microwaving it (see instructions below). Transfer to a large bowl (cools faster) and add butter plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until the pumpkin is smooth and set aside.
Cut puff pastry in half (Note 3). Place one piece on top of the other. Place the double layered pastry on the baking tray.
Cover pastry with a sheet of baking (parchment) paper (not weighed down, just place it on top of the pastry). Bake for 15 minutes until it has puffed up a bit and it is a very light golden brown.
While the pastry is pre-baking, trim the bacon so it is wider than the width of the tart by approximately 1.5cm / 1/2" (Note 4).
Remove the pastry from the oven and discard baking paper.
Working quickly, spread the pumpkin on the pastry, leaving a 1cm / 1/4" border.
Place the bacon on the tart, overlapping each slice. The 8 slices should cover the whole tart.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until deep golden.
Remove from the oven and brush half the maple syrup on the bacon and the pastry border.
Place the tart back in the oven for a further 7 to 10 minutes, until the bacon and pastry is a deep, dark golden brown. (Note 5)
Remove from oven and brush with remaining maple syrup. Season with pepper if desired.
Serve with a light side salad. This tart reheats well in the oven and keeps for 2 days in the fridge, but it is best served fresh out of the oven.
Cooking the Pumpkin
Roasting: Toss pumpkin in olive oil and roast for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, then proceed with recipe directions.
Microwaving: Place pumpkin in a microwave proof bowl (or steamer) with a splash of water. Cover with lid or cling wrap (pierce with a fork a few times if using cling wrap) then microwave on high for 8 minutes. Drain water before use, then proceed with recipe directions.
1. In the US, streaky bacon is the most common bacon available. In Australia, middle bacon is the most common which consists of the eye (the oval part, sold as "shortcut bacon") and the streaky bacon part (the "tail" which has "streaks" of fat through it). Nowadays you can buy streaky bacon from Woolworths and other major supermarkets (either in the deli or refrigerator section). Otherwise, use Middle Bacon and cut the eye off so you just use the streaky bacon part. 2. I like using maple syrup because the woody sweet flavours goes so well with bacon. But if you do not have maple syrup then you can substitute with honey. Heat the honey slightly in the microwave to make it thinner so it is easy to brush on.3. To cut the pastry in half, use a large knife and press down once. Do not drag it along the pastry to cut because then the pastry won't puff as much along that edge.4. The bacon shrinks during cooking which is why it needs to be cut slightly wider than the tart. So when it comes out of the oven, it just about covers the pumpkin.5. A key tip for baking with puff pastry (especially when you have a double layer of puff pastry) is to bake it until it is a very dark golden brown otherwise you run the risk of having a gummy almost uncooked layer in the middle of the pastry.6. Not the healthiest breakfast in the world.....but it's worth it! Have a salad for lunch :-)