cranberry goat cheese tarts


You can’t see it from this angle, but as I shot these pictures I had a small dog nudging my arm, jockeying to get a lick of the spoon just out of sight, and clinging to my leg for a better view of these little treats. Seems Hiro likes the smell of these tarts as much as we like eating them, and their tantalizing aroma is a good indicator of their great taste. I’ve made use of the jumbo muffin pan again and the triple sec cranberry sauce to throw together a quick dessert, using a purchased puff pastry dough as the base and goat cheese sweetened with honey in between. The presentation isn’t fancy or particular, but to paraphrase one of my favorite movies, the excellent flavor of these cranberry goat cheese tarts is bonafide. Come on in, folks, this pastry is fine. 


Cranberry Goat Cheese Tarts

1 10″ X 15″ sheet of purchased puff pastry dough
About 3/4 cup/6 ounces plain goat cheese
1 tablespoon raw honey
About 3/4 cup/6 ounces triple sec cranberry sauce
6 whole pecans
Unsalted butter for greasing the jumbo muffin pan cups

1 jumbo muffin pan

The night before:
Thaw the package of puff pastry dough overnight in the refrigerator.

The next day:
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Measure the goat cheese and honey into a microwave-proof dish, and briefly heat on high power for about thirty seconds. Stir together well; set aside. Measure out the cranberry sauce; set aside. Lightly butter the inside of each cup in the jumbo muffin pan.

Remove one of the sheets of puff pastry dough from the package and unfold it onto a lightly floured flat surface. Cut the sheet into thirds length-wise and then cut the sheet in half width-wise, so you have six equal rectangular pieces. Pick one piece at a time up and stretch it slightly into a square shape, then place it in one of the muffin cups, spreading it so it covers the bottom and sides of the muffin cup. Don’t worry too much about getting it perfectly shaped, just try to cover the entire inside of the muffin cup evenly. Repeat with the remaining five pieces of dough. Place the dough-filled muffin pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for ten minutes.

After ten minutes, remove the muffin pan from the oven and set on a heat-proof surface. Using a spoon, divide the goat cheese mixture equally among the six cups, about two tablespoons or one ounce per cup. Top the goat cheese mixture with the cranberry sauce, dividing the sauce equally among the six cups, about two tablespoons or one ounce. Finish each cup with one pecan placed on top in the center. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the toppings are slightly bubbly or warmed through. Remove from the oven; let rest for a few minutes. Using a large spoon, carefully scoop each tart from the muffin cup and set on a serving plate. Drizzle a little more honey over each. Serve immediately.

Makes six individual tarts

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