While not everyone will own a dozen mini tart pans, most people do have muffin pans. By cutting a single-crust dough into 3-inch rounds and baking them in muffin cups it is easy to produce elegant little tarts, which can be used as a side dish for a fancy dinner party or as an easily passed hors d’oeuvre. The sweetness of carrot is nicely balanced with the earthiness of parsnip and both are complemented by Chinese 5-spice powder.
- Single crust pie dough, rolled out to 12-inch circle and refrigerated
- 3⁄4 pound carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 pound parsnip, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- Salt to taste
- Panko breadcrumbs for topping
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into 12 rounds using a 3-inch cutter, re-rolling as needed. Gently press dough into muffin cups, prick bottoms with fork and fill with pie weights. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine carrots and parsnips and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 10–15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and place in a food processor with cream, butter and spice powder. Process until thoroughly smooth. Season to taste with salt and process again.
Fill each cup with 1⁄4 cup purée and top with panko. Bake 10 minutes, or until heated through. Turn on broiler and broil 2 minutes, or until tops brown.