I am still trying to pin down my father for some (any) of the recipes from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In the meantime, I have this canapé recipe from my sister. The tartlets are a little time consuming and fiddly to make, but the recipe itself is straightforward and they look great.
In the past I have found tartlets this small have not worked especially well for me because it is hard to roll the pastry thin enough so that it does not overpower the taste of the filling. For this reason I have also found that they tend to be quite dry. Charlie has overcome these issues by using very moist ingredients for the filling, one of which – the olive tapenade – is strong enough in flavour to counteract that of the pastry.
You may have leftover ingredients for the filling, but they work just as well on toast or crackers, so nothing need be wasted. Or, if you have some pastry left, you could always make an extra tray of the tartlets.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease a 24 cup tartlet baking tray. Roll out the shortcrust pastry and cut out rounds approximately thrice the diameter of the cups on the tray and line each cup with them as you go. Prick each pastry case several times with a fork and bake until golden (approximately 15 minutes). Turn the oven down to 150C.
While the pastry cases are cooling, slice the cherry tomatoes in half, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grease a baking tray with olive oil and line with the prepared cherry tomatoes then roast for approximately 20 minutes or until soft and wrinkled.
Fill each pastry case with a teaspoon of the olive tapenade, a teaspoon of the goat’s cheese and top with a roasted cherry tomato. Serve at room temperature.
Charlie told me after I posted this that I was missing a step. When she made these on Christmas Eve she left the cherry tomatoes on a tray of rock salt before cutting them in half and roasting them. This draws out some of the moisture, and with it the acidity. The result is deliciously sweet tomatoes.
I am not changing the method, because it isn't a necessary step, but it is certainly desirable if you have the time.