Kitchen Play: Fruit, cheese, carbs, done.

I spend far more time thinking about having dinner parties than actually having them.  Something always comes up, be it finances or timing or some unexpected life event.   But inevitably, I will make something good, and think: this!  This would be perfect if I was entertaining guests.

Then I eat whatever it is and forget about it.  Until the next time I make something good.

The only time I approve of flakiness is when it's a pastry.

Today, it’s my spin on a new Kitchen Play (this month, sponsored by the National Apple Association) entry: apple & herbed goat cheese tartlets, based on Fake Ginger’s apple and blue cheese tart.  It’s the same idea as the tomato galette, or the fig and goat cheese galette with balsamic and honey: fruit, cheese, carbs.  Although with this one, I could picture including a slice of crisped prosciutto (mmm, tasty pig parts), too.  Or lemon zest.

Whatever you choose, these tartlettes (or galette-lettes?  Er) are simple to pull together if you’ve already made the dough, and they’re made in a standard-sized muffin tin.  Half a batch of Julia Child’s cornmeal-enhanced galette dough makes six tarts.  Once baked, they end up being the perfect size for appetizers, and if you serve them straight from the oven, the crust is particularly flaky and the cheese is particularly gooey, as freshly-baked things tend to be.

They pair well with these green beans (made with a green heirloom tomato and swapping garlic for shallots, which received rave reviews from my vegetable-neutral +1).  Recipe after the jump.

Preheat your oven for 400 degrees F.

Dough:

For 6 mini tarts: one half-batch of Julia Child’s cornmeal dough, recipe here.  Roll out the dough to make an 8-inch round.  Using a 4-inch dough cutter (or, if you’re me, a wide martini glass – what?  I’m nothing if not inventive), cut out 6 rounds, re-rolling as necessary to use the scraps.  Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and place each round into a tin, fluting the edges where possible.

Filling:

  • 4-5 oz herbed garlic goat cheese (I got mine from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3-4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 apples (your choice of variety – I used gala, and while they weren’t great with the cheese when raw, once baked, they were perfect), peeled, cored, halved, and thinly sliced.
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
Mash together the cheese and cream (starting with the lowest measurement of each, and adding more if you need it) until you get a workable paste.  If you like, add salt and pepper.  Drop a spoonful of the cheese mixture into each tart cup, distributing evenly among the six.
Arrange apple slices atop the cheese.  Don’t worry if they break – mine did, and that’s what fresh herbs (after baking) are for!  To cover all mistakes, and make it look like you’re more artistic than you are.  I won’t tell if you don’t.
Brush the tarts with melted butter, covering both the apples and the dough.
Bake for 18 minutes at 400, then check to see if they need additional time.  Mine took 26 minutes to reach that crispy, golden stage.
Top with your choice of herb – I chose flat-leaf parsley, but I also made an irish cheddar version that I garnished with basil.
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2 responses to “Kitchen Play: Fruit, cheese, carbs, done.

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