Thursday, 2 December 2010

Goats Cheese & Cranberry Tarts

I usually make these cheese and cranberry sauce tarts as a starter for our Christmas dinner, as they always go down well with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. They can be made in advance and chilled or frozen until needed.*

Serves 4 as a starter (1 medium or 2 small tarts per person).
  • 200g/8oz soft goats cheese
  • 1 pack of filo pastry
  • Cranberry sauce
Cut the filo pastry into 10cm squares.
Line 8 sections of a greased muffin tin with 3-4 layers of the pastry, brushing each layer with a little melted butter or vegetable oil.
Put a small teaspoonful of cranberry sauce in the bottom of each pastry case, followed by around an eighth of the cheese.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 200C/190C Fan/Gas 6/400F, or until the pastry is golden.
Remove from the tin and serve with warm port and cranberry sauce and a side salad.

Port & cranberry sauce
  • 4tbsp cranberry sauce/jelly
  • 4 tbsp port
  • Lime juice to taste, optional
Heat the cranberry sauce/jelly and port together and bring to the boil.
Sieve/strain to remove the cranberry pips and skin (omit this step if using cranberry jelly)
Add a little lime juice to taste, so the sauce is not too sweet.

Alternatives: Use vegetarian Brie, Camembert or other mild-tasting cheese instead of goat's cheese if preferred, or for a vegan alternative, use a vegan 'cheese' or finely sliced and sautéed mushrooms instead of the goat's cheese.
Make the tarts in a bun/fairy cake tin for smaller, buffet-sized tarts - using 8cm squares of filo, or shortcrust or puff pastry.

*Recipe adapted from Rose Elliot's Goats Cheese and Cranberry Parcels

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