Strawberry Brie Tartlets...
My husband and I are party people. We are always looking for an excuse to lay out a glorious spread of edibles and aperitifs. What's better than a warm amalgamation of friends, food and music? Not much that I can think of. We think of our home idealistically, as a meeting place where people can relax, connections are made, friendships are developed, where inspiring conversations are aroused...a place of both reasoning and laughter.
Therefore, I have an extensive collection of throw-together party foods for whenever the moment strikes! As I've mentioned in The Impromptu Brunch, sometimes these things are rather short notice! Frozen puff pastry is something I keep on hand at all times. It's extremely handy for quick hors d'oeuvres and desserts. If you entertain regularly, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve!
Bite-size tarts are perfect party nibbles that can be made in a hurry. This particular variety is essentially a deconstructed classic baked brie. I've layered the ingredients I might used to wrap and flavor a whole wheel of brie, and baked them into tiny bites of heaven. I find at get-togethers, friends are more likely to eat the less-messy items, especially if it's an event where they are standing and roaming around. Tartlets are easy to pick up and carry! Individual tarts takes a few more minutes of assembly time, but less time in the oven than a whole baked brie. They also look lovely in a sweeping display of delicacies and are a summertime favorite!
The better part of one's life consists of his friendships. ~Abraham Lincoln
Strawberry Brie Tartlets
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg + 1 Tb. water
10 ripe strawberries
5-6 oz. soft ripe brie
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
Honey for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 400*. Using a 2 inch cookie cutter, cut out at least 40 pieces of pastry dough and lay them on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
Use a fork to poke holes in the center of each piece of dough to keep the centers from rising too much.
Whisk together 1 egg and 1 Tb. of water. Brush the egg wash over each piece of dough. Bake the dough for 8-10 minutes, until golden-brown.
Meanwhile, slice each strawberry into 4-5 thins slices. Scrape off the rind and slice the brie into thin rectangles. Pull the thyme leaves off the stems.
When the puff pastry is golden, remove it from the oven and allow the centers to collapse a little. If they don't--poke them down with a fork! Then layer the brie over each pastry, followed by a strawberry slice, a few thyme leaves and a sprinkle of salt.
Bake another 2-3 minutes until the brie has melted. Drizzle with a scant amount of honey before serving! These are wonderful served warm or at room temperature! Makes approximately 40.