Well, that’s pretty! huh?
I recently had the privilege of being part of a fund-raiser Tea. When I say “being part of” I mean “making the food for” the Tea. It was loads of fun! This was the second year for Top of the Rock to host a Spring Tea. You can read about last year’s tea here, here, here, here, here, and here. Last year was fabulous! However, I didn’t want to have exactly the same food this year.
It was so much fun to plan for the Tea. I have a Pinterest Tea Party board where I gather ideas. After planning for the first Tea, I was hooked on finding fun Tea Party ideas. My board has quite a bit on it. That really made it kind of difficult to figure out what we should have this year. There were too many choices!
I knew we would have three courses–savory, scone and sweet. The scones were so yummy last time. I decided not to reinvent the wheel on that course.
We used 6 1/2″ clear plastic plates over the fancy china. That made for easier clean up and service. The size of the plates helped determine what would go on them. It had to all fit!
At last year’s event, we had a couple of people on gluten-free diets. Gluten intolerance seems to be an issue for lots of people these days. With that in mind, I thought it would be nice to have a few gluten-free selections at the Tea.
My friend, Susi, made her fabulous chicken salad. Instead of serving it in a puff pastry like before, the chicken salad was scooped onto a sliced apple and topped with a pecan half. It was different and GF! And it looked good, too.
Last year someone mentioned that they would have liked more savory than sweet at the Tea.
Well, to me, the dessert plate is THE BEST!
In the interest of being different, we had a little roast beef canapé. It was e-a-s-y to make. I bought loaves of French bread at the grocery. They sliced it for me at no extra charge. That was a great time-saver. Remember that for when you are fixing snacks for 100! Since my budget was slim, I bought prepared horseradish spread, store brand. I spread just a tiny amount on the toasted bread slices. I topped that with deli roast beef and a small piece of provolone cheese-then into the oven to melt the cheese. YUM! The little roast beef sandwiches were not GF, but folks sure raved about them.
The Pea Tart was a bit of a risk. I found the recipe on Pinterest one day. The link led me to a beautiful website, Gourmande in the Kitchen. I was totally intrigued! Sylvie’s photography is just stunning. She has so many amazing sounding recipes.
I was unsure how I would like the beautiful recipe. Goat cheese was a bit of a stretch for me. I had to do a test run. (You may have noticed that the first picture on this post did not have a clear plastic plate. I’m glad I took pictures while I was testing. Making 100 tarts shells got a little intense. I didn’t take any pictures.)
Since I was making individual tarts, I needed tart pans. In lieu of spending lots of money on tart pans, I used canning lids and rings. The picture above, from my testing, shows two different sizes. I ended up using the smaller lids and rings. I did use a bit of parchment paper in the bottom. I didn’t want the rubbery part of the ring to be an issue.
In my trial run, I discovered that the almond flour crust was very fragile. This had me terrified to try to make them for people. I determined that I probably made the test batch a little too thin. So, when I made the “for real” tarts, I actually did math! Sylvie’s tart serves about 8. I figured I could get 13-15 tarts out of one batch of dough. I filled a canning lid with a little more dough than I used for my test. Then, I weighed the dough. I weighed out 100 little dough balls and stuck them in the fridge until the next day. After a good night’s sleep, I was ready to look at the dough again. I spent that day pressing the dough balls into the canning lids. They baked up nicely. I only broke a couple of them.
I waited as late as I could on the tea party day to spread the filling into the shells. Doesn’t that look fresh and inviting?! The combination of herbs and creamy stuff was delicious!
The Pea Tarts looked pretty with just peas. Sylvie used micro greens to top off hers. My grocery only had spring greens, no micros. The lacy micro greens looked prettier. Nobody at the Tea saw the micro greens though. (Well, they might now.) Anyway, I used the spring greens and was pleased with the outcome.
Compare this picture to the one above it. You will see a difference in the thickness of the crust.
Sylvie was sweet enough to let me share her recipe here. Be sure to go visit her beautiful blog. Thank you, Sylvie!
Pea and Herbed Goat Cheese Tart Recipe (Gluten Free and Grain Free)
The tart features a creamy filling laced with fresh herbs, balanced with a layer of blanched peas and a handful of colorful micro greens.
For the Tart dough:
- 2 cups (224g) almond flour
- 3 Tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Tart filling:
- 6 ounces (168g) fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (56g) Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups (190g) frozen or shelled English peas
- 1 cup of micro greens (for garnish)
Make the Tart Shell:
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond flour, butter, egg white, and salt and pulse until the mixtures starts to come together.
- Place dough in a well greased tart mold, pressing down firmly with your fingers up and around the edges to create an even layer. Prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Put the tart shell in the freezer for 20 minutes while you heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the frozen tart shell in the oven and bake until golden, about 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool on a rack.
- Allow to cool completely before unmolding and filling. (Placing the tart shell in the fridge will speed cooling and make unmolding easier)
For the Tart Filling and Assembly:
- In a food processor, blend together the goat cheese, Greek yogurt, fresh herbs, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper and pulse briefly to combine.
- Bring water to a boil. Blanch the peas for about 2 minutes, then shock them in a bowl of ice water and drain.
- When the tart shell has cooled, spread the herbed goat cheese filling evenly over the surface with an offset spatula, then cover the entire surface with a layer of peas. Top with the micro greens, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the tart into slices and serve.