Goat Cheese, Sundried-Tomatoe and Olive Mini-Tarts

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 ounces chilled cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 kalamata olives, pits removed and each cut into four equal pieces
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled very fine, room temperature
2 tablespoons minced sundried tomatoes in oil
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream or half-and-half

For crust, whirl flour and salt in a food processor for 5 seconds. Add cubes of butter and cream cheese. Pulse until moist clumps form. If you are not using a food processor, whisk flour and salt together in medium-sized mixing bowl. Add cubes of chilled cream cheese and butter and mix with a pastry cutter or two knives. Use hands to gather dough. Shape the dough into a six-inch long log. Wrap log of dough in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill at least one hour and up to one day.

When ready to prepare mini-tarts, remove dough from refrigerator and cut log into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Press one ball of dough into each cup of two non-stick 12-cup mini-muffin pans. Put the pans in the freezer for 30 minutes.

To make the custard, put the egg yolks and whipping cream or half-and-half in a two-cup glass measure. Whisk together until well blended.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove mini-muffin pans from freezer. Place pine nuts in the bottom of each mini-tart. Put one piece of olive over pine nuts in each cup. Sprinkle with minced sundried tomatoes. Top with crumbled goats cheese. Carefully pour cream mixture into each tartlet, being careful not to let it overflow. Place tins in preheated oven. Bake until pastry is golden brown and filling is slightly puffed, about 20 minutes. Remove pans from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes. Run a table knife around inside edge of each muffin cup to release mini-tarts. Gently nudge them from the pan and set on cooling rack or serving platter. Makes 24 mini-tarts.

* These miniature tarts can be made ahead and frozen on a tray or baking sheet. When they are completely frozen, put them in zip-top freezer bags and store them in the freezer. To serve, simply reheat in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes.

* I like to toast pine nuts in a skillet on the stove. Stir the pine nuts as they toast. They will burn quickly. Transfer them immediately to a plate to stop the toasting process. Allow them to cool completely. Always store pine nuts in the refrigerator.


- Courtesy of Sue Doeden