Are you looking for a dairy-free dessert for Thanksgiving? If so, please check out my recipe below for an elegant Swiss tart that can be made with either squash or pumpkin.
Our Third Swiss Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving week has arrived, and 2014 marks our third time celebrating this very American holiday in Switzerland. This Thursday, my son will go to school and to his piano lesson. My husband will go to work. In the evening, we’ll all meet back at home for a small-scale version of Thanksgiving—although this year our turkey may be in the form of Fondue Chinoise (the boys love it, and it’s easy for a weeknight!).
I feel thankful this year for many things, but in terms of food allergies, I’m overjoyed that my son is “only” allergic to milk, and there’s a good chance he’ll outgrow it. We had three food challenges this year, two of which were negative and allowed us to introduce new foods into his diet—almonds and raw/undercooked eggs. Then, in January 2015, he’ll begin a new round of milk-based food challenges, starting with baked milk. With cautious optimism, I’m beginning to imagine what life could be like for my son, if he outgrows all of his food allergies. Fingers crossed!
In the meantime, we’re still living dairy-free in Switzerland for him. Our Thanksgiving will be free of milk products again this year, but I love being able to use eggs without any concerns—especially when making a Swiss-style pumpkin pie: Tarte à la Courge.
Courge actually means squash in French, but you can use pureed citrouille or potiron (pumpkin) instead. When I made it this week, I used one large potimarron squash, like those shown in the photo below. This tart has a delicate squash flavor that’s complemented by a cinnamon and sugar topping and a thin, sweet layer of crushed speculoos cookies underneath.
Please note: If you’re looking for a dairy-free, egg-free and soy-free pumpkin pie, we used a recipe last year from the Kids with Food Allergies Foundation’s online community.
Tarte à la Courge (Squash Tart)
Recipe adapted from Recettes du terroir neuchâtelois by Francis Grandjean (2002).
Makes one large tart in a 28-cm (11-inch) diameter pan.
350 grams dairy-free pâte brisée (i.e., an American-style pie crust. My husband makes this for me, as I have absolutely no patience to do so. His favorite recipe calls for vodka and comes from Cook’s Illustrated.)
50 grams dairy-free speculoos biscuits, crushed (I used Biscoff cookies)
50 grams sugar
7 grams vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
200 ml almond milk
50 ml soy cream (or another non-dairy cream)
50 grams all-purpose flour
700 grams squash or pumpkin puree (I roasted and pureed a potimarron squash)
A few dashes of cinnamon
100 grams sugar
1. Grease the pan with dairy-free margarine and line it with parchment paper. Roll out the dough for the crust and gently lay it in the pan. Using your fingers, press the dough into place in the pan, making sure it’s evenly spread out.
2. Prick the crust in several places with a fork, and then sprinkle and spread the crushed cookies on top of the dough—only on the bottom, don’t worry about the sides.
3. Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, sugar, vanilla sugar, soy cream and flour until well-blended. Then, stir in the squash or pumpkin puree. Pour the mixture gently into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
4. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the top of the filling, and then sprinkle the sugar evenly over the cinnamon.
5. Bake at 200°C/400°F for 35-40 minutes until filling has set, and the crust has browned slightly. Allow to fully cool and then serve with a generous dollop of dairy-free whipped cream.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! If you have any allergy-friendly recipes to share, please leave a comment below. I’m still planning our menu for Thursday…