Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Stove on Sunday: Goat Cheese Tarts and Currant Danishes

I'm obsessed with goat's cheese.  Anybody that really knows me, will predict that if the ingredient is on the menu, that's the meal I'll go for and God forbid there's two!  My mother hates the stuff so creating something in our kitchen with it is strictly forbidden.  Last night seemed to be the perfect time to defy this rule though, with her gone for the evening.  My sister and I decided to take full advantage of this opportunity and cook up one of my favourite Barefoot Contessa recreations, Goat Cheese Tarts.

I've made smaller versions of these before as they are a wonderful summer lunch dish with a side of salad but last night we upped the anti and went for full size tarts, one each.  Greedy!  I don't really consult the recipe anymore so some things may be slightly different from Ina's version.  Or if you're not vibing the tart, how about you head on over to this Something for the Weekend post I did back in September last year which features a goat cheese pizza....see, obsessed.

You will need:
1 packet of puff pastry (or a recipe to create your own if your that brave)
1 large tomato
2 large onions
4oz goat cheese
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Balsamic vinegar

How to:

1.  Defrost the puff pastry and then roll out.  When reached the desired thickness, make sure it's not so thin that it breaks, place a small plate over and cut around with a knife.  Then create another circle within this circle by scoring with the knife.  Make sure you don't cut right through though as you don't want to seperate the pastry from each other.  Prick the middle circle all over with a fork.  Doing so means that the middle circle will not puff whilst the outer circle will, to create a border for your tart.  Repeat for your second tart.

2.  Sautee the onions until brown, seasoning with salt and pepper.  I also added some balsamic vinegar to give some extra flavour and caramelise the onions slightly. You could add white wine instead though, which I have been known to do on occassion.

3.  If you have a trusty servant, like myself, then hopefully they will have grated the parmesan for you whilst you were concentrating on the onions.  Place some of the parmesan over the middle of the tarts to cover this area completely.

4.  Place all of the onions over your parmesan.

5.  I like to slice my goat cheese so it sits on the top, I had 2 thick slices per tart but you would only need one thick slice per tart for smaller versions or you can even crumble, dependant on your preference.

6.  Slice the tomatoes and place one slice on top of each slice of goat cheese.

7.  Sprinkle the last of the parmesan over both tarts and place in a preheated oven  at 180 degrees celsius for 20-25mins. 

 They should eventually look something like this...

These make two huge tarts that could be eaten individually or sliced and teamed with salad or you could make 4 smaller versions with the same amount of ingredients.

Most likely you will have some puff pastry left over and if you fancy yourself being a true domestic goddess, my recommendation would be to pop in the fridge for the morning so that you can make a quick indulgent breakfast synonymous with a Sunday morning in the McNally household, Mini Currant Danishes.  The ingredients are usually things found rattling around your cupboards, the currants for example are leftovers from my Christmas baking rampage (don't worry best before date was Nov 2011).  There are no strict amounts with this, it's more a shove on what you need kind of recipe.

You will need:
Leftover puff pastry
Brown sugar

How to:

1.  Roll out the remainder of the pastry and line with a thin layer of butter.

2.  Sprinkle a healthy amount of currants and brown sugar.  I also like to add a light sprinkle of cinnamon too.

3.  Roll the pastry up and then slice to form the mini danishes.

4.  Place on a baking tray and add a dab of butter on the top of each danish.
5.  Pop into a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 20-25 mins.

Serve with coffee.  Bliss.

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