5-20: Golden Cheese Tartlettes

Finally, one from the “revisited” pile–those are recipes I’ve already made before, but am making again for the sake of this project5-20: Golden Cheese Tartlettes were one of the appetizers I made for a Valentine’s Day 80’s party I talked about in 1-22: Onion-Potato Diamonds–I thought these little cheese tarts seemed very 1980s.

They’re not kidding about the “fragile” part when it comes to these tartlettes–I originally made these for this project back in July of 2016, but the whole operation went so poorly that I abandoned it and never even posted about it. Now that I’ve bought the proper equipment and ingredients for it, it went much smoother.

The “x2” notation was a leftover from the aforementioned 80s party–I had planned to double this recipe for the party. I’ll be 100% honest with you–I can’t remember how I pulled these off without the tartlette pans/pastry cups that first time. I didn’t have them until now (which is why they failed in July 2016), so I have no idea what I did to make them work.     Ingredients. The pastry cups/tartlette pans you see cradling the eggs were a purchase for this recipe (and a few others) and while they look flimsy, they’re pretty sturdy. I went with a mix of Gorgonzola and blue cheese (I had picked up both for 1-20: Prosciutto Appetizers and 1-37: Savory Cheese Appetizers, the other two dishes in the blue cheese trio I recently made), since why not get extra stinky? Made the dough in the food processor, and took special care to use the smaller, plastic dough blade instead of the normal cutting blade.

Rolled out the dough on a floured countertop to make cutting circles out easier.

FLASHBACK: This is from July 2016 when I didn’t have pastry cups, so I tried faking it by pressing the dough into muffin cups.

Back to the future: now I have the right equipment, so I spaced out a dozen of them (I have 4 different shapes, 6 of each shape) on a sheet pan.

I cut out dough circles with a biscuit cutter and pressed the dough into the cups, taking off any excess on the top.

 

I was able to get a lot of extra dough circles out of it this way–I made a lot of extra tartlettes without even needing to double the recipe.

My new food processor has a smaller bowl that nests on top of the larger one, so I used that to make the filling–running the filling ingredients through a processor provides a smooth, even consistency.

FLASHBACK: When I made these in July 2016, I didn’t run the filling through the food processor–I also used different ingredients, and made two different types of filling (probably because I was short on whatever the first one I concocted was composed of).

This time, I did run the filling (composed of the right ingredients) through a processor, and it looks like one, homogenous product. However, I ended up with more dough than filling for it, so I may have to get creative once again and make a second filling to finish the rest of them.

The filling poofed in my oven (it runs hot), which ended up overbrowning and popping them. They’re edible, but not the most attractive. I’m just not meant to conquer this recipe, it seems.

While the originals baked, I looked through the fridge for something to make a second filling with. We had found this interesting and beautifully bright red pesto cheese at a local grocery store, and I thought it might make an interesting variation on the “blue” cheese versions.

I rinsed out the smaller food processor bowl, chunked up the red pesto cheese, and duplicated the rest of the filling ingredients from the original blue version.

I thought the heart-shaped cups were perfect for the bright red filling–compare those to the “blue” cheese ones on the righthand side.

FLASHBACK: Here’s the versions in the muffin cups from July 2016–they look at this point like they could work, but even then, they’re not that pretty.

This time around, the tartlette pans shape the crusts perfectly, but the tops of the fillings still leave a lot to be desired.

Every single one of that batch browned and popped. If this happened and I had planned to use these for a party, I’d whip up a quick topping and plop a dollop on top of each one to hide the cracked and overdone surfaces.

I pulled the second batch a bit sooner than the first ones, and saved the blue cheese ones from over browning–they still peaked a bit though. Lower heat may have saved them–something to consider if I attempt them yet again. The red ones look good, although the large surface area might have helped with that. I also can’t remember if I added egg in that batch or not–the eggs are where the major peaking is coming from. FLASHBACK: Here’s what happened when I tried to get the muffin cup versions from July 2016 out of the pan–every single one crumbled into a huge mess. Not one was able to be saved. That was when I knew I couldn’t even make an entry out of it–it wasn’t even a failure, it was an incomplete.

A sample of each shape–one from each batch. The two round ones baked first, and probably baked too long/hot, which is why they overbrowned and burst. The oval one in the foreground and the heart-shaped red pesto one in the background cooked for less time (although still at the same heat) and came out better. I liked the red pesto filling better too–the blue cheese one was good for one or two, but got old quickly.

Grade: B