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Savory Cheese Tartlets with Blackberries: Entertaining Appetizers


Our family get-togethers are generally potluck-style meals, where everyone is responsible for bringing something, and we all come together with dishes to pass and share and enjoy. There are lavish desserts, juicy roasts, sinfully creamy au gratin potatoes and plenty of fruit salads and vegetables on the side. My favorite part, though, has always been what comes before the grand event: the appetizers.

Treats like these savory cheese tartlets with blackberries to give them a bit of tangy, sweet punch are what I live for during holiday dinners. Toothpicked bites and poppable tartlets make my heart all aflutter.

With blackberries in their peak season, this is the perfect time to include them in holiday desserts, appetizers, side dishes and perhaps even a glaze for that holiday ham. Thanks to Driscoll’s for sharing the gorgeous recipe.

Savory Cheese Tartlets with Blackberries
Cheese Filling:
5 oz. rindless goat cheese, at room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. honey, preferably full flavored, such as chestnut or thyme, warmed

Cream Cheese Dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature, plus more
for pans, if needed
3 oz. cream cheese, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature

Combine flour and salt in a food processor fitted with metal chopping blade
and pulse to combine. Add butter and cream cheese and pulse about 10
times, until mixture begins to clump together. Gather up dough and shape
into a thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and easy
to handle (about 2 hours).

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Have ready
two 12-cup miniature muffin pans (each cup measuring 1 7/8 inches across
the top and 7/8 inches deep), preferably nonstick. If the pans are not
nonstick, lightly butter them.

Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Place one piece in each muffin cup.
Using fingers, press dough firmly and evenly up sides to make a pastry shell.
(A wooden tart tamper can help the job go quickly.) Freeze 5 minutes.

Mash goat cheese and cream cheese together in a medium bowl until
smooth. Add egg, yolk, minced thyme, salt and pepper and whisk until
combined. Spoon equal amounts of filling into chilled pastry shells.

Bake tartlets until crust is golden brown and filling is puffed (about 25
minutes). Let cool for 10 minutes in pans. Remove tartlets from pans and
transfer to a wire cake rack to cool completely.

Just before serving, lightly brush tops of tartlets with about 1 tablespoon of
honey. Arrange berries on top as desired. Drizzle with the remaining
honey. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and serve.

Photo courtesy of Driscoll’s.

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