There’s an amazing little place where I often go for a little high tea with my friends. One of my favorite things they serve, is the petit polenta tarts, which are literally no larger than the size of a tablespoon (and that’s being generous.)
In an effort to recreate these tarts and make them (ahem) more suitable for a luncheon, I’ve inevitably gone a little OTT (over the top) and decided to share my results with you. It’s the really delicious combination of the creamy polenta tinged with parmesan and the crisp crust of the pastry that gets me every time…
Time: approx 45 mins
1 cup of polenta,
1 cup of milk,
Generous knob of butter,
Fresh grated Parmesan, (a small handful will suffice)
Salt and pepper,
Boiled Water from kettle,
2 x sheets puff pastry (cold please)
4 x bambino bocconcini balls, (baby mozzarella)
Salad or garnish to serve (I’ve used watercress)
Combine polenta, 2 cups of boiling water and a pinch of salt, in a pan
Simmer on a low heat, stirring continuously for a few minutes.
Add the milk and butter again stirring to combine, continue cooking for about five minutes until the grains become smooth and creamy.
When the mixture begins to bubble up again, add a splash more of the boiled water. Finally stir in the pepper, plus grated Parmesan and turn off the heat.
It will be a fairly substantial amount you make (remainder can be used in place of mash or set in a cold container and served in slices)
As the polenta cools, lightly grease a pan/tray and lay the two pastry sheets over the top of each other at the diagonal, (I like to drizzle a little more olive oil between the layers.) Also get the oven going to 200C (392F)
Spoon the polenta into the centre of the cold pastry, when the (semi warm) mixture hits the pastry it should start to congeal and set.
Now begin to fold the edges of the tart, spread the polenta mixture to cover the base and crimp with a fork to decorate the sides,
I like to add some fresh mozzarella at this stage, you can omit or (freely) add any other variety of cheese. I think that Blue cheese would also be superb.
Finally, bake in the oven for 20 mins or so. Once time is up, rest in the oven for another 5 mins. Cut and serve with a suitable garnish or salad, enjoy!