The Hunger Games: Mellark’s Apple and Goat Cheese Tarts

This is an ongoing series of food related to The Hunger Games, here are the links to the other recipes- Peeta’s raisin nut bread, the bakery bread Katniss and Gale ate in the woods, the Capitol pancakes, lunch with Cinna (chicken in orange sauce), District 11 bread, Goose Liver and Puffy Bread, Lamb Stew and Dried Plums, cake on fire, hot chocolate,
“We make a goat cheese and apple tart at the bakery,” he (Peeta) says.

“Bet that’s expensive,” I say.

“Too expensive for my family to eat.  Unless it’s gone very stale.  Of course, practically everything we eat is stale,” says Peeta, pulling the sleeping bag up around him.  In less than a minute, he’s snoring.

Huh.  I always assumed the shopkeepers lived a soft life.  And it’s true, Peeta has always had enough to eat.  But there’s something kind of depressing about living your life on stale bread, the hard, dry loaves that no one else wanted.  One thing about us, since I bring our food home on a daily basis, most of it is so fresh you have to make sure it isn’t going to make a run for it.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Katniss, p 309

These were really cool.  I have never made a tart before!  My friend did most of the work, but now I know how to make them!!

It was really simple.  It did not have quite enough sweetness for me.  I don’t know how I will make them next time.  But I do think they are something they would like in District 12.

Goat Cheese Apple Tarts

Ingredients:

  • Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (recipe to follow)
  • Prim’s Goat Cheese (this time we substituted vinegar for lemon juice)
  • 3 apples
  • 1 lemon
  • honey

1. Prepare goat cheese and pastry shells.  (both can be prepared the night before if necessary)

2. After shells have cooled, press about 1/2 cup goat cheese into the bottom of the shells (this was for 2 mini pie sized shells).

3. Peel and slice apples into thin slices.  Put apple pieces in lemon water (3 parts water to 1 part lemon juice) to keep them from browning.  Overlap apple slices on top of the cheese mixture.

4. Drizzle honey over the top of the tarts.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

This recipe is from La Mia Vita Dolce.

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 large egg yolks, cold
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons ice water, divided (reserve 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 large whole egg, extra, lightly beaten, for egg wash
Directions:
1. Place flour and sugar in bowl of food processor; pulse a couple of times to combine.
2. Add cold butter; process until mixture resembles a coarse crumb, 10 to 20 seconds.
3. In a small-sized bowl, lightly beat egg yolks; add 60 ml (¼-cup) ice water (reserve 2 tablespoons) and stir to combine.
4. With processor running, add egg mixture, in a slow steady stream, through feed tube. Process until dough comes together (do not process more than 30 seconds). Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together with your fingers. If dough is crumbly, add extra ice water, 1-tablespoon at-a-time.
5. Divide dough into two equal balls; flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer discs to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour.
6.Roll out pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut pastry into whatever size pan you are using.  (I used two mini pie pans, but the recipe would also work for 8 tartlette pans or 1 pie pan.) Fit the pastry rounds into the tart tins; trim off excess pastry with a sharp paring knife. Prick base of pastry shells with a fork. Transfer pastry lined tins to a baking sheet; freeze pastry shells until firm, about 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 375° F.
8. Remove pastry shells from freezer.  Return tins to baking sheet and bake pastry shells until edges are just beginning to turn golden, about 15 minutes.
9. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack.   Let cool for 1 minute. Prepare egg wash; brush base of each pastry shell with egg wash. Return to oven and continue to bake until golden all over, about 5 to 10 minutes.
10. Transfer tins to a wire rack and allow tarts to cool in tins, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pastry shells from tins and return to wire rack to cool completely.

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