Arboretum News

Squash Recipes for Thanksgiving

Try recipes for a pumpkin roll and squash tart from the Arboretum's Jenny Thull.

COVID-19 Update: All members and visitors need to make a reservation in advance of their visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Find updates and information here.

Whether you’re looking for a delicious dish or inspiration for a beautiful tablescape, check out the pumpkin, squash and gourds available at the Arboretum Holiday Boutique. Photo by Jenny Thull.

If you’re still finalizing your Thanksgiving menu, swing by the Arboretum AppleHouse Holiday Boutique (7485 Rolling Acres Rd., Victoria) to pick up some pumpkins, gourds and squash — perfect for decorations and dining.

The AppleHouse has quite a few varieties of squash available that are both beautiful and delicious. Jenny Thull, the mastermind behind the Arboretum’s annual Cucurbita display and a trained chef, recently shared the following recipes for a Shokichi Shiro Squash Tart and Speckled Hound Pumpkin Roll, highlighting some of her favorite squash varieties. (Hungry for more squash? Check out more of Thull’s popular squash recipes.)

The AppleHouse Holiday Boutique is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Photo by Jenny Thull.

Shokichi Shiro Squash Tart with Fried Sage

Recipe by Jenny Thull
Makes 8 servings


1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed (from a 17.3-ounce package)
1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
12 1/8″-thick rounds Sweet Dumpling Squash
kosher salt
1/4 cup honey
1 thinly sliced Fresno, jalapeño, or red Thai chile
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan or Prairie Breeze Cheese
black pepper


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently roll out 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed (from a 17.3-ounce package) on a lightly floured surface to a 10″ square (just enough to even out). Transfer to prepared sheet.

Brush pastry with 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water. Arrange 12 1/8″-thick rounds of Sweet Dumpling squash over pastry, overlapping as needed and leaving a 1/2″ border. Place another sheet of parchment paper over squash. Set another large rimmed baking sheet over the tart. (This will weigh down the pastry dough and steam the squash slices.)

Bake until bottom of pastry begins to brown and top begins to puff, about 10 minutes.

Remove top baking sheet and discard top sheet of parchment paper. Brush squash slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with kosher salt. Return tart, uncovered, to oven and bake until pastry is deep golden brown and cooked through, 25-30 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup honey, 1 thinly sliced Fresno, jalapeño, or red Thai chile, and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat (add another thinly sliced chile if more heat is desired). Boil until thickened slightly and syrupy, about 6 minutes.

Line a plate with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet until just beginning to smoke. Add 12 fresh sage leaves; fry until crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Slice tart. Arrange 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan on top; drizzle with chile-infused honey. Garnish with fried sage leaves and a few grinds of black pepper.

Photo by Jenny Thull.

Speckled Hound Pumpkin Roll

Recipe by Jenny Thull
Yield: 8 servings
Time: 1 hr, 2+hrs chilling time

Ingredients for the cake:

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup Speckled Hound pumpkin puree  (or any pumpkin puree… Speckled Hound is amazing though!)
3 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioner sugar for dusting
Butter for greasing

Ingredients for the filling:

8 ounces cream cheese
1 ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar, divided
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions for the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a jelly roll pan or 13×18 inch rimmed baking sheet. Line with parchment and then butter.

To prepare the cake, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Whisk together the Speckled Hound pumpkin puree, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

Fold dry ingredients into wet. Spread batter onto prepared sheet. Bake 15 minutes until cake springs back to the touch.

While baking set a clean towel on counter and dust with even coat of confectioner’s sugar.

Remove cake from oven and use a knife to loosen.  Flip onto towel.

Roll the towel and cake into a spiral (don’t press too hard!)

Place on rack to cool for about 1 hr or until completely cool

Directions for the filling:

Whisk together cream cheese and butter in mixing bowl until smooth. Add 1 cup confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Whisk heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar until cream reaches stiff peaks about two minutes.

Fold whipping cream into cream cheese mixture. Spread mixture on unrolled pumpkin cake sponge leaving ¾ inch border. Roll back up without the towel. 

If serving immediately, trim ends and dust with confectioners’ sugar

Cake can be wrapped and allowed to cool and set for 2hr or overnight.

1 comment on “Squash Recipes for Thanksgiving

%d bloggers like this: