Hello dear readers,
This is my fourth recipe in the series that I have developed for Mackays, the Scottish makers of marmalades, preserves, curds and conserves.
You can read all about Mackays, and how I got involved with their “Baking with Mackays” blogger challenge, in my previous three Mackays recipes…
Mackays new blogger challenge is “Christmas with Mackays”. My previous three dishes were sweet, so I immediately knew I wanted to create a savoury dish. I am also aware that vegetarians can be a tad neglected during the meat-feast of a traditional Christmas, nut cutlets anyone? So I wanted to create something tasty, savoury and pretty for my vegetarian friends to feel special during the festive period too.
Beetroot and bramble puffed tartlets with sugared walnuts
This dish uses Mackays delicious seedless Bramble preserve.
You will also need…
- 15 walnut halves
- 1 cup sugar
- 320g puff pastry
- 3 beetroot
- soft goats cheese
- chopped toasted hazelnuts
- spinach leaves
- balsamic vinegar
- rapeseed or olive oil
First of all you need to make the sugared walnuts, which are served as a crunchy accompaniment. You can skip these if you are short of time but they really do add a nice bite.
1) Measure 1 cup of white sugar and ½ cup of water
2) Heat over a low heat until the sugar melts. Then turn up the heat, bring to a boil and leave to simmer.
3) Meanwhile blanch the walnut halves in boiling water for five minutes. Then drain.
4) Add the walnuts to the pan, tossing in the sugar syrup. Continue boiling until the sugar turns to light caramel in colour. Lift out onto a lightly greased baking sheet, taking care to separate the walnuts and leave to cool.
Beetroot & bramble tartlets
This recipe makes 12 tartlets.
If you want to prepare them in advance, the tartlets can be frozen on the baking tray after step eight and then cooked from frozen. Just add another 5-10 minutes to the baking time given at step nine.
Pre-heat oven to moderate hot (200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6).
1) Cook & peel three beetroots, or buy ready cooked.
2) Slice into thin slices about 3-4mm thick.
3) Roll out 320g puff pastry to about 2mm thick and cut out twelve circles using a 9cm diameter cookie cutter. Place onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.
4) Gently heat 3 tablespoons Mackays bramble preserve until melted down.
5) Brush the pastry circles with the melted preserve.
6) Place a slice of beetroot in the middle of each pastry circle & brush with melted bramble preserve.
7) Cut two slices of beetroot in half and take three of the half slices and arrange on top of the pastry and beetroot.
8) Glaze with more melted bramble preserve and top with crumbled goats cheese and chopped toasted hazelnuts.
9) Bake for 7 minutes, then turn the tray round and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the pastry is puffy and golden.
Make the vinaigrette whilst the tartlets are cooking
1) Re-heat any remaining bramble preserve and whisk in 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
2) Crush 10 black peppercorns with a couple of pieces of sea salt and add to the balsamic & bramble preserve.
3) Whisk in 4 tablespoons rapeseed oil (or olive oil) a tablespoon at a time.
Take some small spinach leaves.
Dress the spinach leaves with the bramble vinaigrette and pile in the centre of a plate. Using the leftover beetroot, cut some small slivers and place on top of the spinach. Add three beetroot and bramble tartlets. Add some more slivers of beetroot and some sugared walnuts.
The sugared walnuts or these puffed tartlets would also work very well on their own as canapés with drinks, or as part of a Boxing Day buffet. They can be eaten cold but are best served hot, straight from the oven. Enjoy!
P.S. Mackays sent me eight jars of jams and preserves to use.
Watch this space for more “Christmas with Mackays” recipes.