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Squash Mock Apple Tarts with Cardamom and Ginger

In which butternut squash slices impersonate green apples, in an open-faced tart.

tarts photo (larger here)

Dough for 6-8 free form tarts, equivalent to a 9 inch double-crust pie
(link to my basic crust here)

2 plain cookie sheets or jellyroll pans, with silicone or parchment liners to keep cleanup to a minimum
 Oven 400°    Time 30 minutes

1 small butternut squash, about 4 cups when peeled, seeded, quartered, lengthwise, and sliced no more than 1/8 inch thick

1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
zest of 2 medium lemons
juice of 2 medium lemons
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated, or more, to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 egg
about 2 tablespoons coarse sugar

Prepare the crust (using any basic recipe for a pie crust; I tested the recipe with my basic crust enriched with an egg and a bit of sugar and lemon juice) and divide the dough into 6 or 8 parts.  Shape into disks about 1/2 inch thick and let rest about 30 minutes, covered, in the refrigerator.  

In a small bowl, whisk together the  sugar, cardamom, lemon zest and juice, ginger, and cornstarch.  Pour over the squash and let sit while the dough rests.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the dough disks about 6-8 inches in diameter.  Transfer the crust to one of the baking sheets.  Layer 1/6 or 1/8 of the sliced squash in the middle of each, leaving a rim about 1 inch of uncovered dough.  Fold this loosely over the sliced squash (it will be open in the middle).  

Whisk the egg and a bit of water together (about a tablespoon) and brush a bit over the exposed dough of the tarts.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar and place in the oven.  

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, then drop the temperature to 350 for another 15 minutes.  If baking both trays at once, switch them front/back and top/bottom in the oven at the halfway point.   They should be lightly golden when done.  Transfer to cooling racks, or directly to serving plates.

Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream.

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