The tartlets are easy to make as you will see, but I'm mostly posting this recipe today because I wanted to share the recipe for the dough itself..How to describe it? Hmmm..The moment you bite into it you get a puff pastry-style crunch but not too much, then you feel a softer texture.
The other thing is that the butter does not hit your taste buds as much as it would in a puff pastry or a shortcrust dough, but rather a nice soft cheese creamy and acidic light note...
You can use this cream cheese dough for sweet as well as savoury bakes, I name the tarts, the quiches, the turnovers, sausage rolls.....
I made these tartlets ahead of time and baked them the day I was going to serve them.
Makes 12 ish tartlets/barquettes
Prep: 1 hour - baking: 15 min
The dough :( which is an equal amount of cream and flour + 1/2 of that amount in butter)
- 180g of cream cheese (petits Suisses, kirri, philadephia, or anything similar with 40% fat)
- 180g flour, sifted (I used 200g because I used Quark cheese)
- 90g butter, at room temperature
- 1 pinch of salt
- Herbs (if it's going to be a savoury version), poppy seeds...
The filling (approximate weighting)
- A handful of mushroom (button, chestnuts....)
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 egg (beaten)
- 6 tbsp of single cream or crème fraiche
The cheese dough
Drain the cheese at least a couple of hours before hand; kirri or philadelphia do not need draining but quark or petit suisse or any thick fromage blanc will still need this step.
Mix all the ingredients as if you are making a shortcrust dough: flour, salt and butter are mixed first for the crumbly texture, then fold in the cheese and form a bowl dough. And of course, DO NOT OVERWORK.
Cover with a cling-film, place in the freezer for 10 min..
Now that's where you will make it look like a cousin of puff pastry:
Roll the dough, form an envelop (puff pastry) or a book buy folding the dough on 3 or 4 on itself. Turn it 1/4 and do the same two more time.
If you haven't made puff before roll the dough to a rectangle (2 mm thick), then bring the right side to the centre then the left side, turn a quarter, roll in length and repeat...
Place in the freezer for 10 min.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C
Roll thin and place in tartlets or barquette cases or make a big tart/quiche.. Back to the freezer (Optional).
|Just out the freezer (some with mushroom and some with other fillings)|
Fill and bake
Cut the mushroom thin. Fill in the tartlets.
Mix the egg and the cream and pour a little bit without overflowing it..
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper..
Bake at 180 degrees C for 20 min or until dough is cooked through..
However I found that the best way to use this dough is to blind bake it about 15 min first than fill it it and bake again for 10 min..
The tartlets keep well in the fridge for 2 days, just use the oven to heat them (instead of the microwave) so you get that crunchy bottom back..