mini savory potato, leek, bacon & goat cheese tarts

I haven’t been blogging.

It’s not that I haven’t been baking. Believe me. I’ve been baking. A LOT. It’s just that sometimes I don’t have the time to follow through with a blog post.

But I miss it. I miss my ramblings. I miss telling y’all what I’m up to. I miss seeing your comments. I also miss thinking that my blog is inspiring y’all to bake.

So let’s give this another go.

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Last night I decided to pair up a kale chopped chicken salad (Kelly from the Gouda Life’s recipe) with a savory tart. Basically I made mini quiches. But since the manfriend isn’t a fan of quiche, I figured if I call it the “mini savory tart” he’ll think it’s pretty delicious and gobble it up.

I was correct.

Mini quiches would not have been a success. HOWEVER the mini tart was. And man was it good.

baconthinly sliced leekthinly sliced new potato

Thinly sliced new potatoes, leeks and bacon topped with a crème fraiche filling. Encased in a light and flakey pastry shell. Topped with a slice of goats cheese brie.

This tart packed a punch. A punch of amazingness.

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s great for dinner. But I’m also going to have leftovers for lunch today. And it’d be great for a brunch.

Maybe a Mother’s Day brunch? Good thing I’m sharing the recipe now eh? You can make it at home and impress mom.

mini savory potato, bacon & leek tarts

pastry dough

ingredients:

2 c. flour

1 tsp salt

¾ c. COLD butter, cubed

6-7 tbsp COLD heavy cream (or ice water)

eggwash:

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp salt

*this recipe makes enough for 24 mini tarts. So divide in half for the purposes of this recipe – freeze the rest. That way your dough is already ready when you want to bake more mini tarts!

Place the flour and salt into the bowl of your food processor (obviously this can also be made by hand, however, I really do like how my pastry turns out when I use the food processor). Pulse a couple of times to incorporate the dry ingredients.

Add all the cold butter.

Pulse again a few times – you still want pea-sized clumps of butter. Don’t pulse it too much.

Add the cold heavy cream, about 2 tbsp at a time. You’ll see that the dough will start to come together. You want it to hold together when pinched between your fingers, but still loose.

Dump the dough out of the bowl, gather it together and then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Get the filling and savory ingredients together.

crème fraiche filling:

7 ounces crème fraiche

2 eggs

Sea salt & pepper

¼ of a whole nutmeg, grated

savory ingredients:

4 mini potatoes, boiled and thinly sliced

½ leek, white part thinly sliced

2 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled on a paper napkin to soak oil, then chopped into pieces

Goat cheese brie, cut into wedges

Remove the dough from the fridge and generously flour your work surface. Roll out the dough. I always, always, ALWAYS roll my dough in one direction. Then I lift then entire dough, turn it a quarter, and roll it again. Repeat. That way you ensure that your dough doesn’t stick on your surface. And you have more control of the overall thinness achieved.

I use a 12 mini tart pan – so in order to fill each mold, I cut a square of the pastry dough, line the tart pan, trim the edges. Repeat. These tart pans are available just about anywhere … but feel free to use your regular muffin/cupcake pan. It’s the perfect size for individual tarts. Remember, we aren’t making bite-sized tarts, so no mini muffin tins this time!

Line each tart shell with a cupcake liner and then fill with chickpeas. Place the pan in your fridge for 30 minutes. This allows the pastry to rest again.

Heat your oven to 375 F.

Blind bake the tart shells for 15 minutes on the lowest rack in your oven.

At the 15 minute mark, take the pan out of the oven. Remove the chickpeas and paper liners and gently brush the entire pastry shell with your egg wash.

Return the shells to the oven, and continue baking on the lower rack for a further 8 minutes (I checked mine after 5 minutes just to be on the safe side).

Once blind baked … fill your tart shells!

layer potato, leek & bacon

Layer the tart shells with potato slices, then slices of leek, the bacon.

cover with creme fraiche

Spoon 3 tablespoons worth of filling over each tart shell. Add more if you have leftover filling. Use it all.

Top each tart with a wedge of cheese.

topped with brie - close up

Bake for 25 minutes on the upper rack in your oven (the bottom of your tart shells already baked, now you want the rest of it too).

baked tarts!

When done – remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before digging into the tart. They really are best at room temperature. Then try to eat just one. I bet you can’t. Which is why you should probably double the filling recipe and make 2 dozen of these. You’ll be happy you did. I promise.

 

banana-butterscotch cream tarts

These. are. RIDICULOUS.  Not just a little.  They are majorly ridiculous.

You want to make these.  Today.  Right now.  Seriously.

Remember how enthusiastic I was about those ginger-molasses lemon cookies?  That’s kinda how I feel about this.  Only … they are totally not the same.

Where the cookie is chewy and sweetly tart, these tarts are creamy and sweet.  Really sweet.

Bananas.  Butterscotch.  Whipped cream.  Winner … Oh yes.  Holy heck yes!

I would tweek one thing about this recipe … the size.  Holy heck – 4-inch tarts are too big.  It took 5 of us to eat one.  Mind you we’d all just eaten some monkey bread … but still.  2-inch tarts would do.  They would hit the spot.  They would be perfect to offer on your holiday buffet.  How about you make these for tomorrow night.  You know you want to impress people, but you don’t want to spend another entire day in the kitchen slaving away.  So don’t.  Make these and get outside.  Enjoy the snow.  Or curl up with that book you got for Christmas.  Basically – this is the perfect dessert to make, assemble and then … chillax.

Let’s do it!

Be forewarned – this tart is made in three steps.  Steps one and two can be completed very quickly and can be refrigerated up to 2 days before finishing it.  The third step needs to be done the same day as you are serving this dessert.  So plan accordingly.

fyi – this is another David Lebovitz recipe.  His genius astounds me.  Oh how I heart his book, website, recipes.  I hope you have started to heart him too.

banana – butterscotch cream tarts

ingredients:

crust

1 1/2 c. crushed chocolate cookie crumbs and graham cracker crumbs (combo)

3 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Generously spray your mini tart pans (or a 10-inch pie plate) with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, chocolate cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter together.  You’re looking to get a moistened, almost muddy texture (take it from a sandy texture to a muddy one).  If making small individual tarts (12 x 2-inch mini, 5 x 4-inch medium), evenly divide the cookie base between them – patting the mixture into the bottoms and sides of each tart pan.  If making the larger tart, simply pat the mixture evenly across the base of the pie pan and up the sides.

Refrigerate or freeze for 30 minutes.

Bake the crust until it feels slightly firm, about 6 minutes (mini), 8 minutes (medium), and 10 minutes (large).

Let cool completely.

Make the filling.

filling:

1 c. packed brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp cornstartch

1 1/2 c. whole milk

1/2 tsp salt

3 egg yolks, whisked together

2 tsp rum (sailor jerry’s of course)

1 tsp vanilla

3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces

Combine the brown sugar and butter together in a small saucepan.  Stir while the butter melts.  Once melted, pour into a large bowl.  Set a strainer across the top of the bowl.  Set aside.

Grab a small bowl.  Whisk together the cornstarch with just enough of the milk to make a smooth slurry (David’s words … not mine.  Basically you want the cornstarch to dissolve and create a thin paste – similar to thick honey, not tomato paste).

Now … grab your medium saucepan (I promised easy – not easy on the dishes!) and heat the remaining milk and the salt.  When the milk gets hot, stir in the cornstarch – whisking everything together.  Cover over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken and boil.  It doesn’t smell great … not at this point anyway.

Whisk a small amount of the milk/cornstarch mixture into the beaten egg yolks.  Whisk quickly and drizzle the warm mixture slowly … it’ll prevent curdling of the egg yolks.  Once tempered, return the egg-yolk mixture into the medium saucepan – returning it to the heat.

Cook, again, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and resembles mayonnaise (thickness).  Pour it through the strainer into the brown-sugar butter mixture (the strainer will catch any of those lumps and curdled pieces).

Add the vanilla and rum.  Whisk to combine.

Scatter the slices of banana in the base of the tart pans.

Pour the butterscotch filling into the crust, covering the bananas.  Cover the tarts and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I left mine overnight).  This is when you should (1) go play outside or (2) curl up with a book.  Relax.  You’re almost done.

When you are ready to serve the tart – work on the topping.  You need to pull out your rum for this portion as well :0)

topping:

1 c. heavy cream

1 tbsp powdered sugar

2 tbsp rum (again… sailor jerry’s)

1 tsp vanilla

chocolate sprinkles to garnish

You haven’t had to use a stand-mixer or hand-mixer yet.  Now you do … unless you’d like to whisk.  If you do – then by all means … giver!

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, whisk the heavy cream on high speed until it begins to forth.  Add the sugar, rum, and vanilla, continuing to whisk until the cream holds peaks.  You want a pretty stiff cream.

Spoon the whipped cream into a large piping bag.  Now pipe each tart … creating a beautiful, creamy topping.  Sprinkle with the chocolate sprinkles.

Done.

Festive and beautiful.  And not too difficult!  In the course of an afternoon you’ve created an amazing dessert AND enjoyed some quality relaxing time.

Brilliant.  Perfect to celebrate the end of 2010 and the beginning of a new year.