Loaded Fall Tart with Sweet Italian Sausage

I was turned on to this recipe by a friend who found it in our local newspaper, the Burlington Free Press, and have been dying to make it ever since.  I found the original to be just slightly bland, so I made a few updates to the recipe and it turned out every bit as amazing as I could have hoped.  I can’t wait to make it again!

Loaded Fall Tart with Sweet Italian Sausage

Adapted from Burlington Free Press 
 
1 pastry crust (recipe follows)
1 medium delicata squash, ends removed, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 red onion, sliced into 1/4 wedges
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound high quality sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing and sautéd (broken down into chunks)
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 to 3 Tablespoons milk
 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make pastry dough (recipe follows) and set aside to chill.
  3. Toss squash, onion, oil and salt in a bowl.  Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes until soft but not brown, tossing once or twice.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into an 1/8 inch thick, 16 inch diameter circle and transfer to a cookie sheet.
  5. Spread the garlic evenly over the center of the pastry leaving about a 1 inch area around the edge clear.
  6. Spread 1 cup of cheese onto of the garlic.
  7. Next spread the sausage, then the squash/onion mixture, then the apple and finally the remaining cup of cheese on top.
  8. Fold the edges of the pastry up over the filling, and brush the edges with the milk.
  9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Slice and serve warm.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Pastry:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup stone ground cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into chunks
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 to 3 Tablespoons ice water
 
  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade, combine flour, cornmeal and salt and pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Add cream cheese and pulse for about 20 seconds or until it becomes a mixture of course crumbs.
  3. Add butter and pulse for about 20 seconds or until the mixture retains no crumbles larger than pea size.
  4. While running on low, add 2 Tablespoons of ice water and process for about 30 seconds.  Test to see if a pinch of dough will hold together, if it does not, add more ice water a teaspoon at a time, be careful not to add too much.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed just a few times, until a single ball forms.
  6. Flatten into a disk, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Let warm slightly before rolling out if you chill it longer.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into an 1/8 inch thick, 16 inch diameter circle and transfer to a cookie sheet and fill.

Makes one pastry.

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