I got the idea for this recipe for Mushroom & Chestnut Tartlets from a Costco magazine. The recipe looked very good indeed and I thought the tartlets would make great party food.
As the name of the recipe implies, the tartlets include mushrooms and chestnuts. But there is much more too, with parmesan, rosemary and balsamic vinegar. All those ingredients, together with a buttery puff pastry make wonderful tartlets.
Of course you can make your own puff pastry, but for convenience and speed a ready-made sheet works very well indeed. An all-butter puff pastry is best, if you can find that.
I followed the recipe closely, with just a couple of minimal changes. I used less parmesan, since the specified amount seemed rather too much. The recipe also called for 4 chestnuts to be sliced to go on top of the tartlets, but again I thought that was more than needed, so I reduced that amount to 3.
Those changes worked well in both instances.
Another very minor change was that I used a slightly larger cookie cutter than mentioned in the original recipe. That worked well too. A smaller tartlet would be great as a finger food too.
The recipe is very easy and doesn’t take too much time or effort. The first step is to fry off the mushrooms and chestnuts with shallots and garlic. Then, when the liquid in the mushrooms has evaporated a little balsamic vinegar is added. With a little added seasoning too the mixture it then left to cool.
Then it is time to assemble the tartlets. You have to cut out discs from the puff pastry. The cooled mixture is spooned into the centre, leaving a border around the edge. A sharp knife is used to score a line around the mixture. That allows the pastry edge to rise and create a rim.
Then it is time to bake the tartlets. This is a two stage bake. The first stage is just with the filling. Then a second stage, with rosemary and parmesan added. The final step in the recipe is to top the baked tarlets with slices of chestnuts.
My tartlets baked up very well indeed. Most of the parmesan melted onto the top. A little of the shaved parmesan didn’t melt down. But that was fine. I think my parmesan was slightly dry after sitting out on the counter for a while.
I allowed the tartlets to cool a little before sampling. What a great flavour they had. The balsamic vinegar absorbed into the mushroom and chestnut filling so well. The rosemary and parmesan worked well too. Together with the flaky pastry the tarts were, for me, an absolute triumph.
Another lovely recipe is Jam Tarts.
Mushroom & Chestnut Tartlets – Party FoodCourse: Christmas, PastriesDifficulty: Easy
250g(9 oz) mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
125g(4 1/2 oz) cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped(except keep 3 and slice them finely)
5ml(1 tsp) olive oil
1 garlic clove finely chopped
7.5ml(1 1/2 tsp) balsamic vinegar
30g(about 3/4 cup) grated parmesan
1 1/2 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
salt and pepper to taste
- Place the oil, shallot and garlic into a pan and gently fry until softened.
- Add the mushrooms and chopped chestnuts and some seasoning and fry them off for about 5 to 6 minutes, until the liquid released from the mushrooms has evaporated and the mixture is quite dry.
- Pour in the balsamic vinegar and cook it off for about one minute. Then set the filling aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F.
- Unroll the sheet of puff pastry.
- Use a cookie cutter of about 8cm(3 in) to cut out 8 disks of pastry.
- Spoon the mixture onto the centre of the disks, leaving a 1 cm(1/2 in) border around the edge. (I did this by placing a 6 cm cookie cutter into the middle of the disk and spooning my mixture into that).
- Score a line around the mixture, this will create a slight cut to allow the edge of the pastry to rise up during baking, to create a rim.
- Place the disks onto a parchment line baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
- Mix the chopped rosemary into the parmesan and then spoon that over the top of the tartlets.
- Bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove the tartlets from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool until required.
- Place a few slices of chestnut onto the top of each tartlet.