I originally developed these pastries as a unique means to serve pate but the recipe quickly became a regular on my appetizer list. Adding herbs to the dough in Tier 1 provides a hint of the savory flavors included in the filling. The dough can be utilized in a variety of pastries. Change the herbs or use spices and the hint of flavors change. Be creative using the fillings to match the dough. Use basil in the dough and strawberry jam with basil added as the filling. Match ginger and nutmeg in the dough with an orange marmalade laced with candied ginger and a touch of cayenne pepper. Try chives and garlic in the dough with an onion sauté filling. The variations are almost endless and each a flavorful surprise for guests.
1 c all purpose flour
¼ t kosher salt
1 t fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 t fresh marjoram, chopped
7 T unsalted butter, chilled
1 ½ – 2 1/2 T ice water
1 ½ c fresh blackberries
¼ c sugar
2 t fresh thyme, chopped
1 t fresh marjoram, chopped
½ t lemon juice
½ t lemon zest
Place flour, salt, thyme and marjoram in a food processor. Pulse to blend. Cut the butter into chunks and add to flour. Pulse to blend until mixture resembles course meal. Add 1 tablespoon of ice water. Pulse to blend. Continue adding water by half tablespoons until dough forms large chunks. Remove from processor and form into a ball. Divide into half. Wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour.
While dough is chilling, prepare filling. In a medium saucepan, heat the blackberries, mashing with a spoon and stirring continuously until soft and beginning to simmer, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the sugar to the blackberries. Cook the blackberries over medium heat until syrupy, about 10-12 minutes. Add the thyme, marjoram and lemon juice. Cook until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest. Cool.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sided baking sheet. On a floured surface, roll one dough half into a 7”x7” square. Trim the dough to a 6”x6” square and cut into six 2”x3” rectangles. Place each rectangle onto the parchment lined baking sheet, spacing about 1” apart. Spread 1 tablespoon of the blackberry filling to within ¼” of the edge on all sides of each rectangle. Brush edges with water.
Roll out the second dough half cutting in the same manner. Stretch each rectangle slightly and place on top of the filling. Using a fork, press all edges to seal. With a sharp knife, cut a small X in the center of each. Cover sheet with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least 3 hours. If not baking after the 3 hours, cover the tartlets with another layer of plastic. They can be stored up to 10 days.
Heat oven to 375°. Uncover tartlets. Bake 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned. Do not worry about filling leakage. It happens. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack.