Cherry Tomatoes and Cream Cheese Mini Tarts

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I love the idea of savoury mini tarts. They are probably the quickest canapes one can make and they are not too dodgy to handle as compared to large ones, especially for novice bakers. And what’s not to like about cherry tomatoes? All you have to to do is toss them in a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper – simple and succulent. Also you have to admit, they look so ripe, red and pretty, sitting on that velvety goodness of cream cheese. Yum, yum!

Ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 350 g plain flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 125 g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • Pinch of salt
  • Water, only if you need it

For the cream cheese filling

  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 30 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 50 g cherry tomatoes
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon apple, balsamic mustard (paste)

To garnish

  • Fresh basil, chopped

Makes 12 tarts

Method

  • Brush 12 mini tart tins (3 inches in width) with butter.
  • In a blender, combine all the shortcrust pastry ingredients together one at a time. Once they are blended together, you should have a dough that is sand-like in texture. Now, use your hands to further combine the combined pastry dough together and make it into a ball. Wrap in a cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Mean while, combine the cream cheese and milk together. Add the honey and pepper.
  • Once the pastry has been chilled, roll it out into a rough, longish, rectangle of 2 cm thickness. Using a round cookie cutter (4 inch diameter), make 12 circles from the rolled out pastry.
  • Place each circle on the prepared tart tins. Press them against the bottom of the tin and using your fingers, press the pastry around the sides of the tin, making ridges along the way. Repeat for all 12 pastry circles.
  • Now, refrigerate the pastry tins for a further 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • In the mean time, toss the cherry tomatoes in some olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt.
  • Cut 12, 4×4 squares out of a parchment paper. Crush every square, such that they look scrunched up. Take the tins out of the refrigerator and prick holes in the bottom using a fork. Place each scrunched up parchment paper square on them.
  • Now, throw handful of baking beans in every tin. What you are essentially about to do is blind bake your tarts. You could also use dried kidney beans, chickpeas or peas instead of baking beans.
  • Once you are done filling the tins with beans, place them in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Once the tarts are done, allow them to rest for about 10 minutes. Now, glaze each tart with a little bit of the apple, balsamic, mustard paste.
  • Plop a good dollop of the cream cheese mixture on every tart. Place about 4-5 cherry tomatoes on the cream cheese mixture. Garnish with freshly chopped basil. Repeat for all tarts.
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