I’d been wanting some of these little tart tins for, oh, at least one year. Its not that I make a lot of tarts and require a variety of vessels for filling...it really comes down to the fact that I love the tiny proportions of the tins themselves. There's just something very appealing about baked goods in small packages.
Although the tins aren’t that expensive, I hadn’t been able to justify purchasing them for their aesthetic appeal alone. I felt that I needed to have in mind a specific recipe that absolutely required the use of such tins. Or perhaps, at the very least, to have gone through some serious experimentation in the full-size tart pan that I already owned to justify my graduation to experimentation with its smaller siblings.
Lucky for me, my stepfather came to my rescue and put me out of my indecisive misery. While home for Thanksgiving, Joe took me shopping. For baking pans. Many, many baking pans. So many pans that Brian and I had to reorganize our entire kitchen. I now have my tiny tart tins, a beautiful tube cake pan, additional sheet pans and cooling racks, even some ice cream scoops for balling cookie dough. Suddenly recipe searching has taken on a whole new agenda, with me thinking “oh! I could use my new [insert baking tool here]!”.
And so, although things have been quiet on this little blog of mine this last week I assure you, I’ve been busy in the kitchen. And busy shopping. And busy wrapping. And busy writing out holiday cards. But mostly, I’ve been busy enjoying my new toys.
I have a few recipes I still want to share with you prior to Christmas Eve and so, in the interest of getting all of the items on my holiday ‘To Do’ list crossed off [and therefore maintaining my own sanity...I'm just a little bit OCD...] I’m going to have to keep posts a bit shorter than usual. I hope you won’t mind. My guess is, you all are pretty busy too. :)
I was certain that the debut of these little tins would involve sharing something sweet with you all, and so was surprised when the urge to make a savory tart struck me first. The possibilities for fillings are endless, truly, but we were pretty pleased with the results of our first attempt, which I’ve shared below. I think they would be a great addition to the buffet table at a party, easy to pick up with one hand while holding your cocktail glass in the other.
Savory Winter Tarts
makes (6) 4-inch tarts
9-inch pie crust dough (the rolled dough, not the kind in the aluminum dish)
1/2 pound bacon, fried
1 medium leek, light green part only, sliced
1 medium red potato, very thinly sliced
4 large mustard green leaves, washed and chopped finely
3-oz chevre, crumbled
3/4 cup whole milk
salt + pepper
Thaw your pie crust dough according to the instructions on the package. Preheat oven to temperature indicated on package. Roll out the dough until it is 1/8-inch thick, and cut into roughly 5-inch by 5-inch squares. You'll probably only get 4 squares from this first pass. You'll want to gather the scraps, ball them up, and roll the dough back out to cut the remaining squares. Place a square of dough into each tart tin, pressing the dough into the bottom and sides of the tin. Trim the dough to be flush with the top of the tin. Place tart shells on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and bake according to the instructions on the dough package.
Gather your filling ingredients (other than the eggs, milk, salt and pepper) and set aside.
Whisk together the eggs and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the tart shells from the oven once they are starting to turn golden brown. Set oven temperature to 400*.
Once the tart shells have been baked and cooled about 10 minutes, you can fill them. Fill tarts first with potatoes, mustard greens, leeks then bacon. Do not overfill the tarts, you may not use all of the ingredients.
Carefully pour the egg/milk mixture into each tart, dividing it evenly amongst all 6 tart tins, being careful not to let the custard overflow. Drop chevre on top of the tarts in bits.
Bake the tarts on the cookie sheet at 400* for 25-35 minutes, until custard is set and toppings are starting to brown.
*Note - Tiny tart tins aren't absolutely necessary for this recipe, (1) 10-inch tart tin will accommodate these ingredients. But, the miniature tins sure are fun...