While it’s fairly simple to plan your Christmas main, with turkey and all the trimmings, it can often be difficult to think of a starter to have beforehand. If you’re looking for something that is simple to make, but has that wow factor that will impress all of your guests, these tartlets are perfect. They’re light and tasty, and can be served up with a simple side of watercress.
- 1 x 320g pack Jus Rol All Butter Puff Pastry (or you can make your own!)
- 3 large echalion shallots, sliced
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped, plus extra sprigs for decorating
- 1 ripe pear, peeled and finely sliced
- 60g stilton, crumbled
- 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
- 85g fresh watercress, to serve
- Preheat your oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas mark 6. Roll our your pastry and cut out four circles that are about 15cm in diameter. Leave them to chill in the fridge. If you need to make more than four, you may have to adjust the ingredients accordingly.
- In a large frying pan, melt your butter over a medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, stirring occasionally. This should take around 10 minutes. Once softened, add the sugar and rosemary, and cook for a further minute until they begin to caramelise. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
- Score a 1cm border around the edge of your pastry circles and spoon the shallot mixture into the centre of each tartlet, being careful not to go over the border.
- Divide the sliced pear between the tarts, crumble over the stilton and finish with a small spring of rosemary. Glaze the border of the pastrt with the beaten egg and baked on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown.
- Serve them up warm with a side of fresh watercress.
It really is that simple! While it may not be for everyone, it will certainly appeal to the vegetarians in your family, and can work perfectly alongside other starter choices.