More in Flatiron News

Flatiron Foodies: Natural Gourmet Institute's Butternut Squash Tart with Pecan Crust

Welcome to the fourth installment of Flatiron Foodies, a tasty part of the 23 Days of Flatiron Cheer, featuring a few of the district's culinary standouts to help you with your holiday menu planning. 

For the fourth week of the series, Natural Gourmet Institute Chef Instructor and Programming & Content Manager Ann Nunziata shares her Butternut Squash Tart with Pecan Crust recipe. Made with delicious, plant-based ingredients, this tart will steal the show at your holiday gathering!



Natural Gourmet Institute
Chef Instructor and Programming & Content Manager Ann Nunziata

Yields: One 9-inch tart
Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking time:
 Approximately 2 hours 10 mins (not including cooling time) 

Pecan Crust

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt

To Prepare Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In food processor, grind pecans to fine meal with flour, maple crystals, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In separate small bowl, whisk together oil and maple syrup.
  4. Add oil and syrup to dry ingredients in processor and pulse lightly until dough comes together.
  5. Press crust mixture into tart pan. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, then parbake for 15-20 minutes, until almost golden. Let cool completely.



  • 4 pounds butternut squash (need 4 cups puree)
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kuzu dissolved in 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 tablespoons agar flakes
  • 1/2 cup water

To Prepare:

  1. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place face-down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast at 350°F until fork-tender, about 40 minutes.
  2. When cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out cooked squash. Mash until smooth.
  3. Measure 4 cups puree. Add to food processor with maple crystals, kuzu with soymilk, oil, spices, and extracts. Process until well blended, scraping sides of the bowl often.
  4. In a small pot over medium heat, bring agar and water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until agar is dissolved. Add agar mixture to squash in food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Pour filling into tart shell once the shell is cool.
  6. Loosely cover crust with tented foil to keep edges from browning too quickly. 
  7. Bake for 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center of the tart comes out clean and crust is firm. Remove foil from the edges 10 minutes before removing from the oven.
  8. Cool tart to set filling before slicing (about 30 minutes). Garnish with a dollop of your favorite non-dairy cream.


Pictured below: Chef Instructor and Programming & Content Manager Ann Nunziata


Clocktower spring blooms 🌸✨
📸:  <a target="_blank" href="">@mkvisuals_ig</a>
Clocktower spring blooms 🌸✨ 📸: @mkvisuals_ig
3 days ago