At Christmas it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the burdens of Christmas preparations. There’s last minute gift shopping and the seemingly endless events, and if you are host to multiple Christmas events there’s times when you feel chained to the stove cooking dish after dish.
As much as Christmas is a time of celebration it should also be a time of relaxed ease, especially with family and friends, as this is what Christmas is all about – spending time with your loved ones, not running around stressed. There’s no need to show off your culinary prowess, but nevertheless you want delicious and gloriously easy dishes.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy, not to mention delicious, canapé for your next Christmas event then look no further than these broad bean tarts with mascarpone and ricotta. Flaky golden pastry squares are topped with a gloriously creamy broad bean, lemon, mint, mascarpone and ricotta filling. Simple, easy and scrumptious, and all the components for these broad bean tarts can be prepared ahead of time and assembled at the last minute as your guests arrive for effortlessly impressive entertaining.
Enjoy in miniature form, as I have here, or serve larger broad bean tarts with a couple of salads on the side for a completely delicious meal.
- 4 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten (optional)
- ¾ cup broad beans, fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup mascarpone
- ½ cup ricotta
- 1 tbs fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tbs parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tbs grated parmesan cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- pea shoots and extra mint leaves to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 200 celsius (390 Fahrenheit) and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
- Cut the thawed puff pastry squares in half and then half again to form 4 smaller squares. Cut each square into 4 smaller squares. Lightly score a border inside of each square with a knife, being careful not to cut all the way through the pastry. Use a fork to prick the inner square of pastry to prevent it rising too much when baked. Place the pastry squares on the prepared baking trays and lightly brush the borders of the pastry squares with the egg and bake for 10 minutes, or until puffed and golden. The cooled pastry squares can be stored in an airtight container until ready to serve.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the broad beans and cook for 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Carefully peel the leathery outer jackets of the broad beans and discard. Place the broad beans into a large bowl and lightly mash with a potato masher. Add the mascarpone, ricotta, mint, parsley, parmesan, lemon zest and salt and pepper and mix to combine. Test and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Refrigerate the filling until ready to serve.
- To serve use a fork to press down the centre of the puff pastry square, and fill with spoonfuls of the filling. Garnish with mint leaves and pea shoots.