Last spring I had lunch at Coquette in New Orleans, a lunch that ended with the nicest combination of goat cheese, fresh strawberries, tuiles, and wild lavender honey. I've been thinking about it ever since, and finally decided to make it for myself. I know it's early for most everyone else, but our local strawberry season ends next month, so I indulge while I can.
I used this recipe from Tartelette, with only a few minor tweaks to accommodate the sweetness of the honey. Making the mousse was a breeze and the tart shell wasn't complicated either, though you do have to allow time for the dough to chill, so make that ahead of time. If you're really short on time, you can whip up the goat cheese mousse in minutes and serve it with the berries and honey, alongside crisp cookies.
As an aside, thank you to everyone who has been voting in the Circle of Moms contest. I'm in the top 5 today, with a week left. If you're so inclined, you can vote every 24 hours until the contest is over.
Have a great weekend!
Goat Cheese Tarts
For the pate sablee:
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Goat Cheese Mousse:
6 ounces heavy cream, cold
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
Juice and zest of half a lemon (almost 1 tsp. zest and a little over a teaspoon of juice)
2 cups fresh strawberries
Wild lavender honey (I found mine at Whole Foods)
Prepare the pate sablee:
Place almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, ground nuts, and salt on medium speed until well-combined. Slowly add remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and flour, and mix well. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out four 6-inch rounds and fit them into 4-inch tartlet rings, patting the dough together with your fingertips if the dough breaks while you're transferring it to the pans.
Prick the dough with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place a piece of parchment paper inside the tart shells, fill with beans or pie weights. Bake the shells for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let cool completely on wire racks and remove the pie weights.
Prepare the Goat Cheese Mousse:
In the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream to medium stiff peaks and reserve it in the refrigerator.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the goat cheese and sugar. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Carefully fold the reserved whipped cream into the goat cheese mixture with a rubber spatula, folding until the mixture is smooth. Spoon it into the cooled shells (or pipe it into the tarts with a pastry bag).
Drizzle the tart with honey and serve with fresh berries.