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Goat cheese tarts with leeks and apricot preserves

With a savory/sweet flavor hard to resist, frozen puff pastry makes these tarts easy to prepare.

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Arrange the disks on parchment paper-lined baking sheet(s). Using the tip of a paring knife, score a circle about 1/4 to 1/2-inch inside the edges of the disk. The dough is quite pliable, so you are essentially drawing a line with the knife tip. Prick the pastry disks inside the scored lines all over with the tines of a fork. This will keep the center of the disks from puffing up. Brush tops of the disks with egg wash.

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Assemble the tarts. Spoon the leeks into the centers of the pastry disks, keeping within the scored lines. Crumble chilled goat cheese over the leeks, about 1/2 tablespoon or so per tart (I totally eyeballed this – you do the same). In a small bowl, Slightly mash the apricot preserves with a fork to break up any large chunks of fruit. Spoon about a teaspoon or so on top of each tart, confining it mostly to the center (it may get a little runny during the baking).

Bake the tarts for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. If you’re using two baking sheets on two racks in your oven, swap them halfway through. Transfer the tarts to a platter. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Kitchen Notes

Keep things cool. This is the first time I’ve worked with puff pastry. Listen to everyone who tells you to keep the dough cold. I didn’t (following a random bit of bad advice about workability) – it was a bear to unfold. Also, if you keep the goat cheese cold, it will crumble nicely over the tarts instead of sticking to your fingers (this I already knew).

Got extra dough lying around? While the tarts are baking, patch the scraps of dough into little strips or whatever and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. When the tarts come out of the oven, pop these babies in for 15 minutes. Easiest fun little dessert ever. I got this tip from one of countless puff pastry recipes I looked at. Whoever wrote it, thank you.

Terry Boyd blogs at Blue Kitchen.

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