Pumpkin and ricotta tarts with spiced honey

Treat your guests and get into the festive spirit with Tom Aikens’ delicious pumpkin and ricotta tarts.

Pumpkin and ricotta tarts

Cooking Time: 2 hours, plus 1 day infusing
Serves: 40 canapés


Roast pumpkin

  • 2 pumpkins or 1 large butternut squash
  • Salt

Spiced honey

  • 250ml of lemon juice
  • 300ml of orange juice
  • 500ml of xeres vinegar
  • 500g of honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, about 5g, sliced
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12g of salt
  • 12g of mixed spice
  • 7g of cloves
  • 5 slices of orange peel
  • 7g of juniper berries
  • 7g of fennel seeds
  • 3g of cumin seeds
  • 3g of coriander seeds
  • 3g of black peppercorns
  • 1g of smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper

Tart bases

  • 250g of puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze

To assemble

  • 250g of ricotta
  • 1 bunch of organic fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 30g of Parmesan, shaved


  1. Begin with the spiced honey. Cook down the lemon juice, orange juice and vinegar in separate pans until all have reduced by half.
  2. Combine them in one large pan and add the honey and spices. Place over a medium heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes then set aside to cool and infuse for 1 day.
  3. Strain the infused honey through a fine sieve to remove the flavourings and store in sterilised jars until needed.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
  5. Cut the pumpkin in half (or into quarters if very large), scoop out the seeds and place on a large baking tray. Drizzle over 1–2 tbsp of the spiced honey and season with salt then roast for 45–60 minutes until tender.
  6. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the soft flesh and add to a pan with 25g of the spiced honey and a pinch more salt. Cook together for 5–10 minutes then transfer to a blender and blitz to form a smooth purée. Set aside to cool.
  7. Meanwhile roll out the puff pastry to 0.5cm thick and stamp out 3cm rounds with a pastry cutter. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 5.
  9. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg glaze then cover with a piece of baking paper. Place an empty tray over the paper to keep the pastry flat while it cooks. Bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes until golden then allow to cool.
  10. To serve, spread 1 tsp of the spiced pumpkin puree over each circle of pastry then dot with pieces of ricotta. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves and Parmesan shavings to garnish.

Recipe provided by Tom Aikens, for further festive recipe ideas visit Great British Chefs.

Last modified: October 28, 2016

Written by 8:50 am Recipes