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Happy Thanksgiving!

Aren’t these the cutest little tarts you’ve ever seen? Believe me, they tasted even better than they look! I ended up making three things this morning to take to Thanksgiving dinner: cranberry and goat cheese tartlets (pictured above), three cheese tartlets with bacon and fresh thyme (pictured below), and a butternut squash casserole (forgot to take photo). All three were terrific but my sister and I both agree that the flower-shaped cranberry tartlets were both the tastiest and prettiest of the three.

But if you ask my brother-in-law, the three cheese tartlets with bacon and thyme were the best! I used the same tart pastry for both. The pastry is made from whole wheat pastry flour, butter, shredded Gruyere cheese, cracked black pepper and salt. I basically just made a basic pie crust dough but used whole wheat flour and added the cheese and black pepper. It was absolutely amazing! I don’t have an exact recipe because I made the tarts up as I went but they were so good that I will be making them again and writing down an actual recipe to give you before Christmas.

I used a mini muffin pan for baking both sets of tartlets. For the flower shaped ones, I used a flower shaped cookie cutter. I rolled the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness then cut the flower shapes. I then fit the flowers into the mini muffin cups with the petals sticking up a bit so that they didn’t crowd each other.

For the cranberry filling, I mixed a mini log of goat cheese, a handful of chopped sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins), a teaspoon of fresh chopped thyme, salt and fresh ground pepper, and one egg. This made exactly enough filling for twelve tarts.

For the bacon cheese tartlets I just used a drinking glass to cut the pastry dough into rounds and then fit them into the mini muffin cups. It just so happened that the glass I chose was the perfect size!

For the bacon and cheese filling, I mixed one small log of goat cheese, some shredded sharp cheddar cheese, some shredded jarlsberg cheese, three slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, a teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme, sea salt, coarsley ground black pepper, and one egg. This made more than enough filling for 12 tarts.

Next time I make these, I’ll be sure to take photos of the assembly process. They were fairly easy to make but a little time consuming since I had to roll out and cut the dough. I only made 12 of each because this whole thing was an experiment and I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. I definitely should have made at least twice as many! They disappeared as soon as I put the plates down (half of them went in my brother-in-law’s mouth).

The butternut squash casserole was also really good but I completely forgot to take photos of it! It was a savory casserole made with butternut squash, onions, buttermilk, cheese, and fresh thyme. The recipe is from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook and can be found online at StarTribune.com

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!