Saturday 23 September 2017

Eating In: Italiano Caprese Tartlets

Italiano Caprese Tartlets

Using filo pastry is very convenient, especially when you have a large crowd coming over. I like to keep a close eye on the filo when these tartlets are baking, as they have sometimes come out of the oven a little darker than I wanted them.

Cutting filo can sometimes be a bit difficult, so I use a clean pair of scissors. Why don't you try a fruit version of this, with melon balls, black grapes and blackberries, and mint leaves and a cassis mascarpone spooned over the fruit?

Makes 12

YOU WILL NEED

6 sheets filo pastry

50g butter, melted

200g small cherry tomatoes, some whole and others halved

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish

100g mozzarella, torn into small pieces

7 fresh basil leaves, plus extra to garnish

2 tbsp shop-bought basil pesto

salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Brush a 12-hole muffin tin with melted butter, making sure to brush the top of the tin as well.

Place a sheet of filo pastry on a board and brush with melted butter. Add 2 more sheets on top, brushing each with butter. Cut in half, lengthways, and then cut into 6 rectangles. Repeat the process with the other 3 sheets of filo. Line the muffin tin with the filo pieces and brush a little melted butter over each pastry case.

Bake for 6-7 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Keep an eye on the filo to make sure it doesn't get too dark.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the cherry tomatoes on the tray, drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and scatter over the sprigs of thyme.

Roast for 15-18 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. Add the mozzarella to the roasted tomatoes together with the basil leaves.

Spoon in the pesto and check the seasoning.

Carefully remove the pastry cases from the muffin tray and spoon the filling into the crispy filo pastry. Garnish each tartlet with a sprig of thyme or basil leaves and serve immediately.

Irish Independent

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