I made my ownquick puff pastry for this. Impressed? Well, it’s really easy since it uses theprocessor. Similar to making a pie dough or scones, the difference, of course,is that it needs to be religiously folded like an envelope between four and sixtimes. Otherwise you’ll have a pie dough or a scone. Ha.
The recipe forour FFWD groupis Tomato Cheese Tartlets, very Mediterranean, very Italian meets south ofFrance flavor. Tomatoes, pesto or tapenade, mozzarella, puff pastry.
Clearly somethingto be eating while soaking up the sun in the Amalfi Coast or in Cannes while trying to enjoy a few days ofvacation. You get the idea right? Do I need to tell you once again what a bleakwinter day it is today? I know you’re getting tired of my endless whining, butit’s only for a few more months. Then we can switch places.
Since it’s allabout the attitude, let’s go into the kitchen and make use of our lovelytomatoes and fresh mozzarella. I made neither a pesto nor a tapenade in thetraditional way, I just threw sun dried tomatoes, arugula, basil, garlic, oliveoil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in the food processor.
The pastry cameout really good. I processed flour, salt and butter not too much, leavingpieces of butter the size of peas and bigger. Then I added some ice water, afew more blitzes and dumped it onto the counter. Four turns and 1 hour in therefrigerator. Two more turns and the puff pastry is ready to use.
I cut it, prickedit and then froze it for half an hour (like our friend Kathy suggested in theQ&A) before baking it.
There’s definitely something glorious watching puffpastry come out of the oven, golden, puffed and smelling like melted butter.
The topping ismade up of all those Mediterranean flavors I simply am mad about: olives, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic. I already made my point with the ciabatta sandwich.
Ibaked the puff pastry with cherry tomatoes, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Theyroasted a bit and were soft and had started to release their juice when I tookthe tart out of the oven. I immediately put the room tº fresh mozzarella ontop, a few Tbs pesto/tapenade paste, olives, drizzle of olive oil. By the timeI ended taking some pictures and took the first bite, the cheese had started tomelt a bit. It was simply delectable, finger-licking good.
I have to saythat I believe the puff pastry is a must for the result to be so good, wetherstore bought or homemade, it should be all butter and fresh.
This is a perfect appetizer,who wouldn’t want such an amuse-bouche? Who wouldn’t be happy eating tiny,fresh and flavorful little tarts like these while waiting for the rest of theguests to arrive?
And for thehost it’s a snap to prepare, since most ingredients can be made in advance.
An absolutewinner in my book of recipes. And for the record, I’m writing this having usedwinter tomatoes, wait till I get my hand on sun kissed ones.
Check out this page to see what the otherDoristas made for today.
from Flour, by Joanne Chang
Theingredients are exactly according to the recipe. I changed the preparationinstructions a bit since I used the food processor instead of the stand mixer.
2 1/3 cup (330g) all purpose flour
½ cup (60g) cake flour
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 pound (454g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
½ cup ice water
For ice water,fill half a glass with ice cubes and add cold water. Reserve.
Put flours andsalt in the bowl of the food processor fitter with the steel blade. Pulse a fewtimes to mix. Scatter butter on top of flour, and using on/off button, pulseuntil butte is the size of lima beans, no smaller than peas. Add almost all ofthe ice water and process, in the lowest setting, for 5 seconds. If it´s toodry add the rest of the water and process for about 10 more seconds, until thedough comes together in a shaggy, rough-looking dough. Don’t over process.
Dump out thedough onto a generously floured work surface and pat it into about an 8-inch(20cm) square. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle, about15 to 18 inches.Flour the dough and rolling pin as needed to prevent sticking, but brush theexcess flour from the dough when making the turns.
Make the firstturn: with the aid of a dough scraper, lift one third of the dough from thetop, and flip it down onto the middle third. Do the same starting from thebottom with the remaining third of dough. Turn the dough clockwise, so that theshort side is parallel to the working surface and the long side with theopening is on your right side. Repeat the rolling into a rectangle, the foldingin three and turn to the right another three times. A total of four times.
Refrigerate for 1hour and no more than 2.
Repeat two timesthe rolling the dough, folding it in 3 like a business letter and turning it toyour right. The total will be six turns.
Now your dough isfinished but needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour before using it.
You can refrigerateit, wrapped in film for 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Tomake tartlet bases:
On a floured surface roll thedough about ¼ inch thick. Cut into squares using a long, sharp knife and makinga clean cut, no seesaw motion. Transfer the squares to a baking tray, prick thedough well and freeze for half hour.
Preheat the oven to 350º F /180º C and transfer directly from the freezer to the oven.
If you choose to bake with aningredient on top, arrange it directly on the frozen dough.
Bakefor 20 to 30 minutes until puffed and golden.