Fig, Ricotta, and Goat Cheese Tart

Fig, Ricotta, and Goat Cheese TartFinger-Lickin’ Good
It’s the second week of December and holiday parties are in full swing. Between work parties and our own, I think I’ll see my husband for a total of 20 minutes this week.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a caterer at this time of year. I think I would lose my mind—those caterers are way better at the one party food that usually throws me for a loop, hors d’oeuvres.

I am known for my awesome guacamole. Most of my friends have enjoyed a Hot Cheezy Thing a time or two and I almost always have a cheese and cracker plate or veggie platter whenever I have people over. But the cute little bite-sized tasty tidbits? Not really my thing. I’m just not that great at coming up with that super yummy finger food idea.

The funny thing is that it can be difficult to find recipes for little appetizers unless you are looking just before New Years Eve. Hors d’oeuvres are to New Year’s as turkey is to Thanksgiving.

When I do come up with something, I tend to gravitate towards anything in puff pastry, cause it’s relatively simple to use and and it always impresses. Even better, you can take whole sheets and turn it into a tart (think carmelized onion, brie and pears!) that can be cut up into bite-sized pieces. Easy Peazy.

The recipe for Fig, Ricotta, and Goat Cheese Tart is a perfect example. And the tart is so pretty you may not want to cut it up…

Happy holiday partying!

Fig, Ricotta, and Goat Cheese Tart
Yields 20 to 24 bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
5 oz. ricotta cheese, at room temperature
5 oz. fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1 sheet Dufour’s puff pastry, thawed if frozen
10 medium fresh figs (about 7 oz.), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 sprig of fresh thyme

Make the glaze
Combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is syrupy (about 5 minutes). Allow to cool.

Preheat the oven
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Mix the filling
In a medium bowl, beat the ricotta and goat cheese using a hand-held mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Prep the dough
On a floured surface, roll out the pastry rectangle to a rectangle roughly measuring 9 x 14 inches. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roll the edges to create a neat rim around the pastry.

Assemble the tart
Then, spread the cheese mixture on the phyllo. Scatter the figs and separated thyme leaves over the cheese.

Bake the tart
Bake until the crust is puffed and golden brown and the fruit is tender (about 20 to 25 minutes). After removing the tart from the oven and while it is still hot, drizzle the tart with the glaze before serving.

To serve
When cool, cut into bite-sized pieces for serving.

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