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Herby Olive Goat Cheese Tartlets by Baking The Goods

Herby Olive Goat Cheese Tartlets

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Explore the savory side of baking with these single serving and super satisfying Herby Olive Goat Cheese Tartlets. They've got all of the right moves; buttery crusts, creamy dreamy filling and an earthy and elegant topping. 


Savory Mini Tart Shells

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2" cubes

Whipped Goat Cheese Filling

8 ounces goat cheese

2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

2 medium lemons, zested and juiced - divided, for filling and olive topping

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Marinated Olive Topping

1 can medium California Ripe Olive, green or black

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice & 1 teaspoon lemon zest - divided

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

1 teaspoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoons chopped chives

lemon zest & herbs for decoration


Savory Mini Tart Shells

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and heavy cream, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and pepper.

Using a pastry cutter, 2 butter knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture looks like coarse cornmeal, the butter chunks shouldn't be larger than the size of peas. Alternatively, you can squish the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands. Just be sure to move fast so the butter doesn't' melt.

Add the egg mixture and blend with a fork until the dough just pulls together. Alternatively, you can make the dough in a food processor by pulsing the butter with the dry ingredients in a food processor until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, the butter chunks shouldn't be larger than the size of peas. Add the egg mixture and pulse a few times until the dough just starts pulling together into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, gather into a ball and pat to flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour before rolling out. At this stage the dough may be frozen for up 3 months, if wrapped tightly.

Marinated Olive Topping

In a medium bowl combine the olives with the rest of the ingredients, stir together. Let that hang out on the counter so the flavors can meld together for a while while prepping the tarts.

Rolling & Blind Baking the Savory Tart Shells

Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to soften at room temperature for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, gather tools for blind baking the tartlet shells. You'll need a 12 cup muffin pan and pie weights, dry beans or dry rice. 2 sheets of parchment paper or foil. Cut the 2 sheets of parchment paper into 6 squares each or cut 12 6"x6" squares of foil. Crinkle the parchment or foil so it will nestle into the shells with ease. Set aside.

Place tart dough on a lightly floured surface and tap with the rolling pin a few times to soften. Roll out the dough, starting from the center, rolling outward. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Repeat and continue rolling and rotating. Lightly dust the top and underneath the dough with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Roll out until the dough is about 1/4" - ⅛" thick.

Use a round cookie cutter that is slightly larger than the cups of your muffin pan, about 3 1/2" in diameter, and cut rounds for 12 tartlet shell bases. You may only get 5 or 6 rounds with the first cut, so gather the dough scraps together into a ball and re-roll the dough to cut more rounds. Repeat until you have 12 rounds.

Carefully nestle the dough rounds into the muffin pan cups, they should cover the bottom and about 1/4 - 1/3 up the sides of the muffin cups. Gently press the dough into the bottom of the cups, making sure there are not gaps.

Use a fork to prick the bottom of the tart shells. And place in the freezer or refrigerator to firm up for a few minutes while your oven finishes preheating. 

Once chilled, line each muffin cup with parchment or foil squares and fill with weights, beans or rice. Be sure they weights are evenly distributed and fill each shell entirely.

Bake the shells for 15-20 minutes, until the paper or foil no longer sticks to the dough and the edges start to look golden. Gently remove weights by lifting the parchment or foil from the shells and set aside.

Bake for about 6-8 minutes longer until the shells are golden brown and dry. Allow to cool slightly in the pan, then carefully remove the tartlet shells and place them on a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

Whipped Goat Cheese Filling

Combine the goat cheese and heavy cream in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until mixed and smooth. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper and 1 of the crushed garlic cloves from the marinated olives. Pulse until smooth. It should have the consistency of sour cream or Greek yogurt, thick and creamy but pourable.

Assembling the Tartlets

Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoons of whipped goat cheese filling into each cooled tartlet shell. They should be just below filled to the top. Place on a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for a 30 minutes to set up a bit before topping. 

Once the filling has set and feels firm to the touch, top each tart with 3 marinated olives. Then decorate with fresh herbs, lemon zest sprigs. Cover and hill in the refrigerator until ready to serve, up to 1 day ahead.


You will have extra marinated olives, which make for a delicious bonus snack for yourself or to set out in a party spread.