For our “fancy meal” this week, we went with
- Goat Cheese Tartlets
- Baked Butternut Squash
- Beets in a Balsamic Pecan Glaze
- Dinner rolls
The butternut was easy; just slice in half, clean out the seeds, and bake for 60 minutes at 350°F. The dinner rolls were frozen from the last time we made basic bread; we thawed them and just popped them in the oven about 10 minutes before it was time to serve. The beets in the Balsamic Pecan Glaze is essentially the recipe provided here, only with pecans substituting for walnuts. But the Goat Cheese Tartlets are a new recipe, and, while they sound fancy, they are really easy to put together. We’ll show you.
We based this on a recipe that we found in In My Kitchen by Ted Allen. We modified it a bit to give the tartlets a little more flavor, and cut back the recipe so it would be more manageable for two.
Makes 6 tartlets.
For the crust
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
- 1 egg
- 2-3 Tbs heavy cream
For the filling:
- 3 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- pepper to taste
- pinch nutmeg
Eggs should be pastured; it’s the best for the hens, and, if you want the best eggs, you better treat those hens right. If possible, get your goat cheese from happy goats. Happy goats are healthy goats, and healthy goats make for healthy cheese, and healthy cheese makes you happy.
Mix together dry ingredients. Stir them around in a medium-sized bowl so you won’t have any pockets of salt.
Add butter. Put the butter pieces in, and with you fingers, work the butter into the flour. After a minute or two, you should have a coarse crumbly meal-like texture.
Add egg. Crack it right in and stir it around. The dough won’t quite come together, but that’s okay; we’ll fix it up next.
Add cream. Add 2 tablespoons cream and stir. Did the dough come together? If not, add a bit more cream. Once the dough comes together, shape into a disk and….
Refrigerate. Pop it in the fridge for at least 10 minutes, or as long as a day. When you’re ready to bake, move on to the next step.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make filling. Just dump all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix until mostly smooth. A few lumps of cheese won’t hurt, but it won’t be any better if you get rid of them all, either. After all, they’ll melt when you bake the tartlets.
Roll out dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut out 3-inch diameter disks. We use a glass; you can use a cookie cutter, or a glass, it won’t matter. Re-roll the scraps until you have six disks.
Place in muffin tin. Put the disks in a lightly greased muffin tin and press down to make a cup.
Fill. Divide the filling evenly among the cups. Each will take about 2 tablespoons or so. Maybe a bit less, maybe a bit more.
Bake. Pop them in the oven and bake 35-40 minutes or until puffed and starting to brown.
These tartlets are pretty good, but to our minds, they’re lacking something in the flavor department. We think they’d be even better with cherry tomato halves placed on top before baking. That would make them five stars, but for now, just 4.