The mere fact that these little tartlets now exist in my repertoire is now reason enough to throw more parties. There are few things more festive than buttery, flaky puff pastry, but few things more daunting to think about making from scratch. So, just head to the refrigerated dough section of your supermarket, grab a roll of Wewalka Puff Pastry and you are more than halfway to these stunning little hors d’ouvres.
And it gets better. Because the puff pastry comes rolled up in its own parchment, all you have to do is unroll it directly on the baking sheet, and top or fill away as you please. No defrosting, no flouring the counter, no rolling anything out (it’s already the perfect thickness), just 64 lovely layers of pastry waiting to puff up and make you look like a superstar.
You cut the puff pastry into small squares right on the parchment, right on the baking sheet. A quick brush of cream of milk, and into the oven they go. When they are baked, give them a gentle press with your fingers to make the surface a bit flatter, so the toppings stay put.
Meanwhile you will have blended up some crème fraiche with pesto, and then each square gets a little dollop of this pretty green creamy spread.
Small pieces of smoked salmon are draped over the puff pastry squares. Smoked salmon just looks enticing no matter how you fold or drape it, so while you can take your time and be as artistic as you want, you’re going to end up with some fine looking little apps no matter what. The colors are so Spring-ey – pink and all of that green (though i will not be forgetting these when the holidays approach).
Especially once you garnish them with some fresh herbs or capers, and a bit of lemon zest. Adding a tiny sprinkle of lemon zest to almost any little hors d’oeuvres is just downright classy (she said, classily)—it looks pretty, it adds a touch of freshness and there is something pretty sophisticated about this very accessible ingredient. A sprinkle of lemon zest is a little go-to trick I fall back on often. Not to mention the fresh herbs thing—hardly ever the wrong move.
These gorgeous elegant little bites are so simple to put together—perfect for a party appetizer.Tweet This
You can make the crème fraiche spread up to 2 days ahead of time, and you can make the puff pastry squares earlier in the day and leave them at room temperature until it is time to serve them. Assemble just before serving or the puff pastry will get soggy. And tell your friends to bring over some bubbly.
Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche Puff Pastry Tartlets
To Garnish (Pick and Choose!)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Snipped fresh chives
- Little sprigs of dill
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Unroll the puff pastry onto a rimmed baking sheet. Cut the puff pastry into 30 squares. Brush the tops with milk or cream. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until puffed and golden brown and cooked through.
- While the puff pastry Is baking, cut the salmon into smaller pieces, about 1 x 3 inches each. Blend together the creme fraiche, pesto, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- When the pastry is cooked, place the baking sheet on a cooling rack and use your fingers (wrapped with a paper towel to protect from the hot puff pastry) to gently press down on the squares to make them a bit flatter. Let the puff pastry cool to just barely warm or to room temperature.
- Top each square with a couple of teaspoons of the creme fraiche mixture, spreading it over the top, but not quite to the edges. Attractively drape a piece of salmon over the crème fraiche on each piece. Top with capers, chives, or dill – you can definitely combine two or three of these as well. Give each tartlet a tiny sprinkling of lemon zest.
- Arrange the tartlets on a platter and serve.
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