Friday, 30 March 2012

Putting the "Tart" into the Tarts

Crostate di Limone & Feta con Crescione e Miele
Lemon & Lime Feta Cheese Tarts with Honey and Cress

These tasty little pastries are savory and tangy at the same time- a lovely combination for a sunny day! Such a pity that it was everything sunny here in Frankfurt today- but I made them all the same as a little consolation... and it was like the sun came out after all... for a few minutes at least!

Using my trusty weapon of pre-made puff-pastry, there were whipped up in no time and very easy to make. They would be great for picnics or parties, as appetizers or simply as a light and tasty lunchtime snack... and this is all that you need to do to make them!

First of all, turn you oven on to the highest setting and start it warming... puff-pastry loves high temperatures to get it nice and fluffy.

Next, slice off the tops of your lemons and limes, and then proceed to slice off little slivers of fruit with peel. In a saucepan, melt a couple of tablespoons of sugar with a couple of tablespoons of water, add a pinch of salt and then add the lemon and lime and let it cook for 3-4 minutes in the sugar syrup with a couple of sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

Cut the pastry into squares and then cut strips that are slightly shorter than the width of the base- then lay these on top to form a little "frame"... you do not need to stick them in any way- just lie the 4 strips in position and the oven will take care of the rest for you! You will find that already after 5 minutes, these pastry bases will have risen to incredible heights! Do not panic! lol! I know there are methods of placing baking paper and some kind of weight, i.e. stones or beans on top of areas of pastry that you want to "bake blind", so that they do not bake too quickly or indeed rise up in this manner... but life is too short to go to all of that trouble- simply take the tray out of the oven and pat the pastries down flat in the middle with a spoon!

Spoon on a little of the citrus mix and sprinkle with finely diced feta cheese- then continue baking until the pastry becomes golden brown. Once the pastries have cooled, sprinkle with a few chili flakes, scatter lightly with watercress and add a few drizzles of olive oil before serving. Here comes the Summer!

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