Goat Cheese Tartlets, 5 Ways

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Photo Credit: Agustin Sanchez

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Awhile back, the Ile de France cheese company sent me a free wheel of Camembert cheese to blog about. Since one would be insane to turn down free cheese, I accepted and made roasted fig, prosciutto and camembert “sushi” drizzled with honey. Nothing better than creamy cheese, fruit, cured meat and honey. Nothing.

I guess it was a success because Ile de France sent me some more free cheese. This time, a large piece of goat cheese and the chance to submit my recipe for a chance to win $1,000! Free cheese and a chance to win some cash? Yes please. So, I invited my photographer friend and co-worker Augi and his wife Meli (one of my homeys from high school) over for goat cheese tartlets.

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Photo Credit: Agustin Sanchez

I made a simple tart crust, which I stuffed into mini-muffin tins for appetizer-sized tartlets. Because I couldn’t decide on just one filling, I made five. And it can’t hurt my chances in this contest, right? Here were the 5 finalists:

  • Cracked Pepper Smoked Salmon & Dill (my favorite, I think) – #4 in photo above
  • Dried Apricot, Almond and Honey (Tom’s favorite) – #1 in photo above
  • Roasted Fig – #3 in photo above
  • Cardamom and Mustard Seed-spiked Butternut Squash – sadly, not pictured
  • Caramelized Onion & Pear (my second favorite) – #2 & #5 in photo above

The point here is that you can have fun with the fillings and the possibilities are endless. Each were tasty little bites and my guest photographer snapped away while I cooked and sipped from a Red Hook ESB. A perfectly relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Goat Cheese Tartlets, 5 Ways

For the Tart Crust – from Epicurious
Note: I doubled the recipe and it worked beautifully. Just make sure you flatten the dough out pretty well before you chill.

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

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.)

Tarlet Prep:

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!

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 tarlet crust then bake for 25 minutes. Yields about 10 tarlets.

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 tarlet crust. Top with goat cheese and bake for 25 minutes, then drizzle with honey. Yields about 10 tarlets.

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 tarlet crust. Top with more freshly ground pepper and goat cheese and bake for 25 minutes. Yields about 10 tarlets.

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 tarlet crust. Top with goat cheese and bake for 25 minutes. Yields about 10 tarlets.

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 tarlet crust. Top with goat cheese and bake for 25 minutes. Yields about 10 tarlets.

*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.

10 Comments

  1. Wow! They look amazing! I can almost taste them! ;)

  2. Wow. These are so cute and fun. I LOVE little appetizers and can never make my mind up either. Sounds like a great Sunday to me.

  3. These were absolutely delicious. We had a gastronomical time at your place! The butternut Squash tartlet is not pictured because it was delicious and they did not survive the first wave of frenzied fingers attacking them before i decided to take pictures and stop stuffing my face.

  4. Good Luck! Those look amazing! Too bad I missed out on the free cheese this go round. :( Damn you Hurricane Ike!

  5. Amazing photos and recipe. I love all of the variations. The butternut squash is sounding good right now.

  6. Pingback: Beans with Crispy Prosciutto, Sage, Pecorino & Olive Oil | bitchincamero

  7. Love figs, love goat cheese! If you get more free cheese, try this: stir in some Lavender Dressing from (www.montebellokitchens.com)and chop up a little fennel for flavor, texture and color and add it to the cheese as well. Stunning flavor, easy to make and the dressing is sweetened with organic agave nectar so it is healthier for you! Always have a small loaf of goat cheese and a bottle of lavender dressing on hand and you have an instant, slightly exotic appetizer ready at a moment’s notice!

  8. yummy girl – sounds great!!

  9. Pingback: The Fanciest Grilled Cheese Ever | bitchincamero

  10. Taname huvitava blogi

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