This is the final recipe from my Great Bloggers Bake Off Final spread. Filled with a lemon flavouredmascarpone mixture, and topped with pomegranates (which I think have a jewel like quality), these Mini Jewelled Filo Tartlets look really pretty and are simple to make.
I know some people think that filo pastry is tricky to use but I'm not entirely sure why. There is no chilling or rolling out, so I find it pretty easy to use. The quality can vary a bit from brand to brand, however, with some being a bit brittle with a tendency to crack and break while using. But, if you keep the sheets of filo covered with a sheet of cling film and then a very slightly damp tea-towel, you should find that they do not dry out and crack too much before you have finished working with them.
To use filo pastry the thin sheets are lightly brushed with melted butter or oil and then stacked on top of each other to form thin, flaky layers. If your individual sheets do crack, arrange them while layering so that the cracks are not on top of each other and you will be fine. Interestingly, the un-familiar brands I get in our local Turkish supermarket tend to be better quality than the more well know brands available in the larger supermarkets. So, if you have a small ethnic store it is worth checking them out to see if they stock it. I haven't found any noticeable difference between fresh and frozen filo, and no noticeable difference flavour between any brands once baked .
One of the hardest things I find about filo pastry recipes from a writing point of view, is giving quantities; as the size of sheets varies from brand to brand. I'm sure other writers find the same problem, so dont be surprised if you sometimes have to use more or less sheets than stated in a recipe. To make these simple pastry cases you stacked two sheets on top of each other and then cut into small squares. Two squares are then stacked on top of each other at an angle to form a star shape before being gently eased into cup cake tins.
I have opted for a simple lemon flavoured mascarpone filling, baked until just set. It's a perfect foil for the fresh fruit on top. As it sets it also makes them easier to transport should you need too.
As much as possible, I like to use seasonal ingredients. At this time of the year, soft berries tend to not have much flavour so I opted for pomegranate. To get the seeds out, squeeze the pomegranate to loosen the seeds. Then cut in half and scoop out the seeds discarding the white membrane. Spoon a few seeds on top of each of the cooled tartlets. A little warmed red currant jelly is then spooned on top and the tartlets are complete. At other times of the year, try with berries instead. Drizzle a little redcurrant jelly onto the serving plate around a tartlet for a pretty dessert.
The tartlets are best eaten on the day they are made, after that the pastry becomes soft. They are still delicious, but just do not have the lovely crisp texture of the pastry.
Step By step
Mini Jewelled Filo Tartlets
For the pastry cases
- 3–4 sheets filo pastry
- 40 g unsalted butter melted
- For the filling
- 250 g mascarpone
- 1 medium egg
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
- pomegranate seeds
- 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 1 tsp water
- Lightly brush one sheet of pastry melted butter and place a second sheet on top and brush with a little more butter.
- Cut the pastry into small squares (about 10cm). and arrange two squares on top of each other at an angle to form a star shape. Press into one section of a cupcake tin.
- Repeat with the remaining pastry to make 18 pastry cases.
- Combine all the ingredients for the filling and beat until smooth. Divide equally between the filo pastry cases. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is just set.
- Remove the from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin.
- Spoon some pomegranate seeds into each tartlet. Heat the redcurrant jelly and water together in a small pan or in the microwave and stir until melted. Drizzle over the top of the pomegranate seeds.