I think this is what they had in mind when they coined the term “food porn.” Something about puff pastry that just makes me salivate. Just looking at it you can appreciate its crisp, flaky texture.
I know you can’t always judge a book by its cover, but in this case, you can. This bite-sized joy tastes as good as it looks, if not better.
I made this once a few years ago and remembered how much I’d liked it. I was relieved to find that it was just as delectable on the second attempt. One of the things I love about this recipe is that you can do the better part of the prep work ahead and pop them in the freezer for up to two weeks.
I’ve mentioned before how much I love serving canapés at cocktail parties but how often they are finicky and time-consuming, leaving you frustrated or fatigued by the time your guests arrive. As such, I’m always excited to discover a canapé option that can be prepared ahead of time and requires little more than popping it in the oven at the appointed hour.
This snack is really the perfect balance of flavours and textures. The thyme and tarragon bring a touch of herbaceousness, the apple sweetens with baking, without becoming mushy, the Dijon adds texture and a hint of acidity, the blue cheese brings funk. All together, it’s a striking harmony for the palate.
The icewine glaze seems fancy but comes together in six minutes. It’s really the ideal option for dazzling your guests without breaking a sweat.
I’m not sure if praising your own cooking is the culinary equivalent of laughing at your own jokes, but when I bit into one of these tartlets I audibly moaned and said to myself, “Damn, that’s good.”
It’s so delicious that I’m getting hungry just writing about it now. That, or I’m just hungry. As I write this, I’m stuck on the tarmac in Toronto, trying to get home to Ottawa.
Apparently the runway in Ottawa is flooded due to the warmer weather we’ve had the past couple of days and they need to clear off the standing water to prevent it from becoming a skating rink as temperatures plummet overnight. I’m delighted they are thinking of our safety but it’s 3:30 (we should have been in Ottawa by now) and I haven’t eaten since 8 a.m. And, when I’m hangry, I’m a public safety hazard to everyone in my vicinity.
I really am decidedly unpleasant when I’m hungry. My mood might only be irrationally worse when someone wakes me up from my much-needed beauty rest without due cause. This is a scenario when I become a two-headed monster.
If you have woken me up without cause, you better be ready with a hot skillet full of bacon to soothe my frayed nerves. That, or a plate full of these apple and blue cheese tartlets with icewine glaze. Make these and win over even the grumpiest of grumps in your life. Promise.
Apple & Blue Cheese Tartlets with Icewine Glaze
- 1 sheet half 450 g pkg frozen butter puff pastry thawed
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 sweet-tart apple such as Empire cored and thinly sliced
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup red or white icewine
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 shallots sliced
- 1 teaspoon mixed peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves chopped
On lightly floured work surface, gently roll out pastry into 12-inch square; prick all over with fork. Cut into 16 squares; arrange on parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheets. Mix mustard with thyme; brush over tops of pastry, leaving 1/2-inch border. Arrange 3 apple slices in centre of each. (Make-ahead: Freeze until firm. Layer between waxed paper in airtight container; freeze for up to 2 weeks. Add 2 minutes to baking time.)
Whisk egg with 1 tsp water; generously brush over pastry edges. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 400°F oven until pastry is crisp and golden, 15 to 17 minutes. Sprinkle with blue cheese.
While tartlets are baking, in small saucepan, bring icewine, sugar, shallot and peppercorns to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and syrupy, about 6 minutes.
Strain through fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids with back of spoon; discard solids. Drizzle syrup over tartlets; sprinkle with tarragon.
Recipe from: Bartoli, Jennifer and the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. “Apple and Canadian Blue Cheese Tartlets with Icewine Glaze.” Canadian Living. December 2015.
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