I've been experimenting with puff pastry quite a bit recently.
And I'm always experimenting with anything Caprese, which always seems to be a hit in my house.
Typical afternoon conversation:
Caitie~have you thought about dinner?
Me~I'm thinking fresh mozza-
I don't even have to finish my sentence, she knows where I'm heading before I even say it.
- "Little Room"...The White Stripes
- "No Rain"...Blind Melon
- "Island In The Sun"...Weezer
- "You Shook Me All Night Long"...AC/DC
- "Another One Bites The Dust"...Queen
- "Love Interruption"...Jack White
Caprese Puff Pastry Tart (4 servings)
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 large plum (roma) tomatoes (or 3-4 small)
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
- 1/4 cup balsamic reduction (or make your own by heating 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar on your stove top until reduced by half)
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Fresh basil, for garnish
Gather your ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
(If you're making your own balsamic reduction: in a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. This will take about 5 minutes. It will thicken as it cools. Or you can take the lazy way out like I did, and buy a bottle of balsamic reduction.)
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unfold your sheet of puff pastry, and cut into two pieces.
Lightly score a border (about 1/2" from the sides) around the perimeter of each piece.
Bake for 15 minutes in your preheated 400-degree oven.
Slice your tomato and mozzarella. Peel the garlic.
Looks like this tomato is an extra juicy one!
I put the tomato slices onto a paper towel to absorb the juice. I was afraid that a super-juicy tomato would make a soggy tart.
To make it easier, I suggest using plum (roma) tomatoes. There aren't as many seeds and they're not too juicy. If you do use juicy tomatoes, let them sit on a paper towel while your puff pastry is baking.
Remove the puff pastry from your oven after 15 minutes. It should be golden, but still a few minutes from finished.
(You can now see the border that I scored around the edges. I did this so that the pastry wouldn't totally puff up, and so I can lightly push the center down now so that the tomatoes and mozzarella will be able to sit without sliding off.)
You need to work quickly now, to get the toppings onto the pastry. Immediately after you remove the puff pastry from the oven, crush a clove of garlic over each one and lightly rub the garlic over the dough.
Layer the tomato slices and mozzarella onto the pastries.
Return the pan into your 400-degree oven for 3 more minutes. This will finish cooking the puff pastry.
Here they are after 3 more minutes in the oven.
You don't want to actually cook the tomatoes and cheese, because you don't want to lose that fresh taste! You just want to warm them slightly while the puff pastry finishes cooking.
Using a pastry brush, very lightly brush some olive oil onto the tarts (I only used about a teaspoon of oil on each tart). Drizzle with the balsamic reduction, and top with some shredded basil.
Cut into slices, and serve immediately.