Tax Day. For tax day, you are going to need something simple make up, yet something that looks and tastes like it’s from a high-end restaurant. We have the answer. How about individual savory tartlets that take a total of 15 minutes of work? Yep, 15 minutes of your time. Of course they do have to bake, but, while they’re in the oven, you can find that last tax deduction, or, if you’ve already filed, celebrate with an adult beverage of your choice.
This recipe is based on one we’ve published before — Goat Cheese Tartlets, but, having had them both, we can say that this version is way, way better. Not that the other one is bad, mind you, it’s just that the original was a bit bland. It didn’t stand on its own as a main. These do. Oh, since we’ve published a similar recipe before, if you need more photos to make a procedure clear, you can refer back.
Makes 6 tartlets.
For the crust
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 Tbs unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
- 1 egg
- 1-2 Tbs heavy cream
For the filling:
- 3 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup green peas, plus a few more for topping
- 2 Shiitake mushrooms
- 10 Porcini mushroom slices, minced
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese
We used dried Porcini and Shiitake mushrooms. If you can get fresh, go for it. As far as goat cheese goes, support your neighbors and try to get local cheese. Same with eggs. The peas, we had to use frozen. Fresh would have been even better, so use fresh if you can. And, as dedicated readers know, Parmesan cheese does not come in a green box. All of these suggestions are the true secrets of upscale restaurants: use the highest quality ingredients.
Prep mushrooms. If you are using dried mushrooms, rehydrate. Slice off 12 thin mushroom strips from the caps of the Shiitakes, and set aside. Mince remaining Shiitakes and Porcinis. Set aside.
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 your 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 might not come together, but that’s okay; we’ll fix it up next.
Add cream, if necessary. Add a tablespoon 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 30 minutes, or as long as a day. When you’re ready to bake, move on to the next step.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
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 cups.
Make filling. Place cheese, egg, cream, salt, and pepper 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.
Add peas and mushrooms. Add the 1/2 cup of peas and the minced mushroom pieces. Stir to combine.
Fill. Divide the filling evenly among the cups. Top each with two Shiitake strips, sprinkle with a few extra peas, then sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese.
Bake. Pop them in the oven and bake 35-40 minutes or until puffed and starting to brown.
These tartlets are fantastic and so worth 5 stars. The Shiitake mushroom strips add just a bit of chewiness to the texture so that, along with the peas and mushroom bits, you feel as if you’re digging into a substantial dish. By using Porcinis and Shiitakes, we really increased the flavor, and the bit of Parmesan adds just the right amount of saltiness to cut any eggy taste. Then, to top it off, these really are easy to put together, but look oh so elegant. How can you not want to just rush into your kitchen and whip up a batch right now? Even if you have another main planned, these would work as individual sides. And, making them smaller places them in the finger food category — perfect for parties!