Pesto TartletsCuisinart Original Recipe
Store bought puff pastry can be substituted in this recipe but our food processor version makes it almost as easy and will melt in your mouth.
1/2 cup cake flour, not self-rising
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached, all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, but not warm, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons cold water
2/3 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 ounces Reggiano Parmigiano, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small garlic clove
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, unblemished
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg
2 teaspoons water
Make the pastry:
Add the flours and salt to the large bowl of the Cuisinart® Food Processor fitted with the large metal chopping blade. Process 5 seconds to combine. Add the 1/4 cup of softened butter; pulse to combine, about 5 times.
Gradually add cold water through feed tube, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse just until mixture is granular and when pinched it comes together (you may not need all of the water). Add the cubed butter evenly over the dough; pulse until just comes together into a dough ball – mixture should be streaky with butter.
Form dough into a rectangle (about 3x 6 inches). Wrap well in plastic and chill until dough is firm, about 1 hour. While dough is resting, prepare the pesto.
Place the cheese into the medium work bowl fitted with the large metal chopping blade. Pulse about 5 times to break up the cheese and then process for about 1 minute to chop. Remove about ½ cup of the Parmesan and reserve. Add the garlic, pine nuts, basil and salt to the bowl. Pulse again to break up ingredients evenly. With the machine running, pour the olive oil through the small feed tube until pesto is emulsified. Remove bowl and reserve.
Heavily dust counter with flour.* Roll out the dough to a long rectangle (should be about 16x12 inches). Fold the two short sides in towards the center, so that their edges touch in the center of the rectangle. Fold again in half like a book. Turn the dough clockwise and roll it out into a long rectangle again. Make the same folds with the two short sides. Repeat. Chill dough at least 60 minutes. Roll dough out identical as before and fold. Repeat. Chill about 30 minutes before cutting and baking.
Stir the egg and water together.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Once pastry has chilled, Roll out to a large rectangle (16x12 inches) of even thickness. Cut four rounds out with a 5-inch round cutter or leave as a whole rectangle.
Brush the pastry with the prepared egg wash and sprinkle with the reserved grated Parmesan. Bake until rounds are puffed and fully golden, about 15 to 18 minutes.
Remove from oven and dollop prepared pesto over the tartlets or tart. Serve immediately.
*We find that it is helpful to roll dough on a piece of parchment cut to 17x12-inches. You still need to heavily dust the paper, but it makes a lot easier to roll and later cut the dough into shapes.
** If dough gets too soft between rolling and folding refrigerate until chilled before rolling.