These little puff pastry tartlets make a perfect Holiday appetizer. Warm, flaky puffed pastry is filled with caramelized onions, fresh cranberries, tarragon, and a gorgeous, melty, Swiss style cheese called Appendaam.
It’s Here! December 1st. Happy December to every one of you. I don’t think that there is a month I look forward to all year more than December. And boy, have I been prepping for it. Just wait until you see all of the holiday recipes I have coming your way.
I thought I’d start off the season with a great appetizer recipe. With all the parties coming up you need at least one stunning, hot appetizer on your menu and I have just the thing for you. These:
Caramelized Onion Cranberry Swiss Tartlets
Savory tartlets make such an elegant appetizer. You see a lot that contain Brie. I wanted to do something a little more…universally enjoyed. Not that Brie isn’t great. It’s one of my favorites, actually. But some like it, some don’t. I wanted something with a unique flavor that would melt into a gorgeous puddle in the middle of my tartlets. I decided to go with a gorgeous Appendaam, from Boar’s Head.
Appendaam is like a Swiss Emmental cheese, but specifically made for the Boar’s Head company. Why is it special?
-It’s buttery and sweet, but not overpowering.
-It’s exclusive to Boars Head and can only be found at your local Harmon’s grocery store.
-I have never found a cheese that melts more perfectly. Really. I have eaten more grilled cheese sandwiches in the past week than you can possibly imagine. This cheese melts so easily, and it doesn’t firm up as soon as it’s off the heat. The cheese just oozes and drips continuously until it’s quickly consumed. It. Is. Gorgeous. It’s bad enough that Thanksgiving has just past, now I get to include 10 pounds of Appendaam cheese into that calorie count(just kidding…I don’t count calories. That would be terrifying, considering the content of this blog and who the main consumer of all outgoing recipes is).
The fabulous cheese isn’t the only thing happening in these little tartlets. They are surrounded by a wreath of caramelized onions that are sweetened and sauteed with fresh cranberries and a little fresh tarragon, which gives it a licorice-like note. If you can’t find tarragon, rosemary would be great in it’s place.
Finished off with a drizzle of honey, these will look stunning at any party. Or your dinner table. Or as a mid-day snack.
- 1 T. Olive Oil
- 1 large Sweet Onion, Cut into thin slices
- 2 T. Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 t. Coarse Salt
- 1 C. Fresh Cranberries
- 1 t. Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 dashes Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- ½ T. fresh Tarragon, chopped
- 1 package pre-made Puff Pastry, thawed
- 8 oz. Appendaam Cheese, cut into ½"x1" cubes
- Honey, for drizzling
- Tarragon leaves, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick mats.
- In a saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium/high heat.
- Add the onion and brown sugar and saute for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well caramelized, lowering the heat to medium, if necessary, to prevent scorching.
- Add the salt, cranberries, vinegar, pepper, and tarragon to the onions and saute for another 2-3 minutes, or until cranberries have burst and the mixture is no longer liquid-y.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Lay out your thawed puff pastry sheets on a floured surface. Dust the top of the pastry lightly with flour and roll out until the dough is just a little thinner.
- Cut 2" circles out of the dough and place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Using a Tablespoon measure(or something else that is circular and about 1 inch in diameter), make an indent in the center of each puff pastry circle, not pressing all the way through the dough.. *This step is crucial in making sure that your tartlet's have a crust that puffs up around the toppings instead of the whole tart puffing up and pushing the toppings off.
- Add a heaping teaspoon of the onion mixture to the center of each puff pastry circle. Make a well in the center of the onion mixture, pressing around the center indent, but not outside of it.
- Bake the tarts in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until just turning golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and place a cube of cheese in the center of each tart.
- Place back in the oven and bake for another minute or two, just until the cheese has melted.
- Remove and drizzle a little honey over each tartlet.
- Add a leaf of tarragon to each tartlet and serve.