A few of you admired my tartlet shells from the tasting at the Woodstock Farmers Market over the weekend. Perfectly bite-sized, each one is just larger than the size of a quarter. Fill the shells with just about anything and you have the cutest little appetizer or dessert.
After many years of passing appetizers at events where people try exceedingly hard to be on their best behavior, I have witnessed lots of face stuffing. Sometimes this is by choice, where the guy waiting by the kitchen door will throw a few wontons in his mouth at once. Other times this is because the chef has not thought about how someone will gracefully eat a stunning 2” round crustini topped with whole shrimp, crumbled cheese, sprouts, etc…. all while holding a glass of champagne. When the first bite crumbles the only way to avoid wearing food is to shove it in your mouth!
You can probably buy pre-made bite-sized shells somewhere, but trust me, those little phyllo shells are not bite sized and not cheap! Enter the tasting tart, small enough to eat in one bite.
If you are keeping K.I.S.S. in mind, purchase a ready-made (but not shaped) pie crust from the cooler section of the fridge. If you are already a whiz in the kitchen then feel free to whip up a pie crust.
1 box of crust or one double crust batch of dough will yield approx. 50 little shells.
Begin by rolling out the pie crust. Roll the dough out thinner than you might like for a pie, approx. 1/8” thick. If you are using store bough pie crust, take a moment to roll it out just a bit thinner.
Using a shot glass (or something of similar diameter), punch little circles out of the pie dough.
Pinch the dough circle and place into greased mini muffin tins. Using a fork, poke the center of each tart shell to keep them from “puffing.”
Brush each shell with egg wash. Among other things this will keep the tarts from quickly going soft if filled with something that has a high moisture content.
Bake tart shells 6-8 minutes or until golden. Allow to rest in the pan for 2 minutes. Gently tip the tart shells onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To build tartlets, open a jar of your favorite Potlicker Marmalade (substitute blueberry preserves, carrot cake jam, lemon curd, etc…) spoon 1t of jam into each shell. Serve.
The options are endless! Use sweet or savory. Fill with jam, fruit, cheese and cream. Try them with chicken salad, pesto, or confit mushrooms.
Freeze any leftover tart shells in a large Tupperware container and separate layers with parchment paper.
They will hold for 2-3 months.