Strawberry Goat Cheese Tarts

If you’ve never had strawberries and goat cheese together, you are missing out on something magical. Now, if you happen to be allergic to strawberries (sorry sis!) or don’t have an affinity to goat cheese, then you may want to skip out on this post. I discovered this flavor combination back in 2008 at the Top Berry Luncheon where I first met food bloggers like Yvo. I loved the strawberry goat cheese tart served there, and I’ve been wanting to make these ever since.

I lost the recipe handed out at the event, so I decided to come up with my own version based on an old tart recipe. For the filling, I wanted a prominent goat cheese flavor with creamy consistency, so I mixed together Greek-style yogurt with some sugar and goat cheese. I then threw on a handful of sliced strawberries and poured on some longan honey I got from Thailand. Pretty simple, right? If you make these for your next summer dinner party, I assure you, your guests will eat them as quickly as you can assemble them.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Tarts
adapted from previous recipe

Ingredients:
Shortcrust Pastry (recipe below)
2-3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups Greek-style yogurt or strained yogurt
4-6 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup honey

Directions:
1. Place the chilled dough rounds on a lightly floured surface. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 1/4 inch thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the center and roll away from you), and turning the round a quarter turn after each roll.
2. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to four small tart pans, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
4. Remove shells from freezer and fill with pie weights (you may substitute with beans or rice on top of parchment paper – please don’t forget the parchment paper!)
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tart becomes golden brown.
6. Remove from oven and let cool.
7. In a stand mixer, beat together goat cheese, Greek-style yogurt (or strained yogurt) and sugar until you reach a smooth consistency.
8. Assemble the tarts by dolloping goat cheese/yogurt mixture into the tart shells, placing sliced strawberries on top of the goat cheese/yogurt mixture, and drizzling honey over the strawberries.

Shortcrust Pastry
Ingredients:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
1-2 tablespoons cold water

Directions:
1. Sift together flour, sugar and salt.
2. Using a pastry cutter, work pieces of cold, cut butter into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
3. Lightly beat the egg yolks and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
4. Form the dough into four equal rounds, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Apple Crisp

Happy Friday, y’all! I’ve gotten feedback that my recipes here are way too elaborate and involved for the average baker. Considering my posts have been mostly Daring Bakers’ posts as of late (this post is for you Audrey!), I completely agree with that statement. I chronicle challenging recipes so that one day when I’m a grandmother of old age, Lord willing, I’ll have proof of what my hands were capable of. That’ll show the grandkids that crazy grandma isn’t just making up stories again. About food, at least.

Here is a really easy recipe that is especially great when you have a bushel of fresh picked apples in the fall. The baking part is certainly easy, but let me warn you that preparing the ingredients will consume a good chunk of time. I recruited an old high school friend to help me in the kitchen for making two of these apple crisps. When she said yes, little did she know she’d be peeling and coring 6 pounds of apples with me! Thank you Judy, for contributing to this delicious apple crisp with your rockin‘ peeling skills.

Apple Crisp
from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
2. Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. Transfer to freezer to chill while you prepare apples.
3. In another large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture.
4. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until golden and bubbling, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
5. For best results, serve with vanilla ice cream.