Saturday, September 7, 2013

Maids of Honor

I made this recipe out of the Tea book as a thank-you to some friends for giving me a ride to the oral surgeon for yet another procedure.  I really hope I'm done with all of this dental work before the end-of-year holidays.  It has been enough of a trick to sing in a Rosh Hashanah choir with stitches in my gums.  Fortunately, he was able to fix the problem under local anesthetic; I just had a few days of pain, swelling, and ice packs.

These little bite-sized pies are kind of like sweet quiches, minus the eggs.  The original recipe called for pie crust, but I had some puff pastry dough in the freezer and gave it a shot.

I made them in a mini-muffin pan, and it didn't go as well as the ones in the cookbook's photo.  Either I cut the rounds too small or this recipe really should be made as slightly larger tarts.  A regular muffin pan might work better, resulting in half as many tarts.

There seems to be an awful lot of butter in this recipe.  I used it anyway, but you can probably do this with half as much.  It will simply result in a lower yield for the filling.

1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed
flour for dusting board
1/2 C cottage cheese
1/4 C butter, softened
1/4 C sugar, plus more for dusting
*shredded zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 C ground almonds (almond meal)
*1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
*2 tsp brandy
1/3 C dried currants

1.  Roll out puff pastry dough on floured board.  Cut 12 4" circles if using a regular muffin pan, 24 2" circles for mini-muffins.  Unlike pie dough, you can't reroll the scraps of puff pastry and get the same results.  Use the space economically.  Lightly press circles into muffin pans and refrigerate until ready to fill.

2.  In a bowl, beat together cottage cheese and butter until smooth.  Add sugar, lemon zest and juice, ground almonds, nutmeg, and brandy.  Mix thoroughly.  Stir in currants.

3.  Preheat oven to 375º.  Spoon batter into pastry cups.  Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.  Sprinkle tops with sugar and let sit in pan until cool enough to handle.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 to 24, depending on size

Difficulty rating :)

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