Goat Cheese Tartlets, 5 Ways by Melissa


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At a glance
Soft-Ripened Cheeses

Tart crust:

* 2 cups all purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 3 tablespoons (or more) ice water
* 2 tablespoons chilled whipping cream


Tartlet Preparation:

* Blend flour and salt in processor with dough blade attachment.
* Add butter; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal.
* Add 3 tablespoons ice water and cream.
* Process just until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.
* Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk.
* Wrap in plastic; chill 1 hour. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)
* Roll the dough out until it’s thin but not paper thing, then either rip pieces off with your hands or cut out rounds using a biscuit cutter and stuff them into greased mini-muffin tins.
* Experiment with the first one until you get the right fit. Line all of your muffin tins. The tart crust recipe above will yield about 25 tartlets, depending on the size of your tin and how thinly you roll the dough out. You can also just make 1 big tart in a tart pan.

Preheat the oven to 375° and prep your filling(s). I’m providing some recipes for fillings below, but these should be loose recipes - play with the measurements and fillings yourself. Have fun with this!

1) Cracked Pepper Smoked Salmon & Dill
* 4 oz. Cracked Pepper Smoked Salmon, cut into 10 pieces
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
* 2.5 oz. fresh goat cheese (I used Ile de France)
Stuff a piece of smoked salmon, a bit of dill and some goat cheese into the unbaked tartlet crust then bake for 25 minutes. Yields about 10 tartlets.

2) Dried Apricot, Almond and Honey
* 20 dried apricots
* 30 almonds, chopped
* 2.5 oz. goat cheese about 3 tbsp.
* honey for drizzling
Place 2 dried apricots and some chopped almonds into the unbaked tartlet crust. Top with goat cheese and bake for 25 minutes, then drizzle with honey.
Yields about 10 tartlets.

3) Roasted Fig & Black Pepper
* 3/4 cup roasted figs* or chopped fresh figs
* Freshly ground pepper
* 2.5 oz. goat cheese
Place a couple of tablespoons roasted figs into the unbaked tartlet crust. Top with more freshly ground pepper and goat cheese and bake for 25 minutes.
Yields about 10 tartlets.

4) Cardamom and Mustard Seed-spiked Butternut Squash
* 6 oz. cubed butternut squash (about 1/4 a large squash)
* 1 tsp. olive oil
* 3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
* 3/4 tsp. yellow or brown mustard seeds pinch salt
* 2.5 oz. goat cheese
Toss the butternut squash with the olive oil, cardamom, mustard seeds and salt, then place them into the unbaked tartlet crust. Top with goat cheese and bake for 25 minutes.
Yields about 10 tartlets.

5) Caramelized Onion & Pear
* 1 large yellow onion, caramelized**
* 1 bartlett pear, thinly sliced (skin on)
* few slices cooked bacon or pancetta,
* crumbled (optional) 2.5 oz. goat cheese
Place a couple slices of pear, a couple teaspoons of caramelized onions and a few bacon crumbles into the unbaked tartlet crust. Top with goat cheese and bake for 25 minutes.
Yields about 10 tartlets.

Additional Tips

*Roasted Figs
1 pint black mission figs
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. natural cane sugar
a LOT of freshly ground pepper
Roast the figs by preheating the oven to 400°.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and de-stem the figs, then halve them and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the sugar and black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the figs caramelize and are soft the whole way through. Remove from oven and let cool. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

**Caramelized onions
1 large yellow onion,
thinly sliced 1 tbsp.
unsalted butter
pinch natural cane sugar
Heat a small pan over medium-low heat (about 4 or 5) and add the butter and onions. Sautee until they turn soft and are just beginning to brown, about 15 - 20 minutes, then add the sugar. Continue to cook until the onions turn deeply golden, another 10 minutes or so.