Tag Archives: hors d’oeuvres

Prawn Paté/Dip

Potted Prawn Dip | Gather and Graze

We’ve had something of an Indian Summer here in Canberra this year and it’s been absolutely glorious. For the first time ever, we may actually make it through to Anzac Day without having to turn the heating on… something Canberrans strive to achieve each year.

With the early evenings still warm enough to sit outside, this Prawn Paté worked a treat the other night. It was accompanied by a chilled glass or two of Bandol (Provençal) Rosé which, I’ve got to say, complemented the rosiness of the prawns perfectly. Continue reading

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Fennel Seed Tartlet Shells

Fennel Seed Shortcrust Tartlet Shells, Gather and Graze

Good things come in small packages! These days, I find myself so incredibly partial to Tapas, finger food, hors d’oeuvres and the like. Both sweet and savoury… as long as it’s bite-size and can be nibbled on intermittently while sipping on a glass of wine or champagne. A relaxing, happy way of eating. Summery and festive, with Christmas and holidays on the horizon!

A savoury, spice-infused shortcrust pastry recipe that can be topped, so easily, with all manner of deliciousness.

Fennel Seed Tartlet Shells | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Makes about 36 Tartlets
  • Print

  • 150g/1 Cup Plain Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds (bashed up a little using a mortar and pestle)
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 80g Cold Unsalted Butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 Free-Range Egg Yolk (beaten together with 2 Tablespoons Iced Water)

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, fennel seeds and sea salt. Add the butter and pulse a few more times until it becomes the texture of course breadcrumbs. Now pour in the egg yolk/water mixture and pulse until the pastry just comes together in a ball. Refrigerate the pastry (wrapped up in cling wrap) for about 30 minutes.

Roll the pastry out onto a board dusted with flour, to a thickness of about 3mm. Using a round cookie cutter (approx 5 cm in diameter), cut discs of pastry and press them into mini-muffin trays. Chill the prepared trays in the freezer for 10 minutes, before baking.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden. Allow the shells to cool in the muffin trays for a few minutes, before carefully removing to a cooling rack.

The tartlet shells are now ready for you to dress up with your chosen fillings – the options are endless, however I’ve listed a few possibilities at the end of this post.

The photo above, shows some shells filled with Goat’s Curd and topped with some roasted red peppers/capsicum, fresh thyme leaves, a drizzle of E.V olive oil and a little grinding of pepper and salt.

Fennel Seed Shortcrust Tartlet Shells, Gather and Graze

Notes on Cooking

  • If the filling you intend to place in the tartlets requires baking as well, par-bake the shells for only about 12 minutes, before adding the filling and then return to the oven until cooked.
  • Consider using other herbs and spices to bring a little life to your pastry – cumin seeds, caraway seeds, thyme leaves, rosemary and lavender are a few to try.

Ideas for Fillings

  • Creme Fraiche, topped with thin strips of smoked salmon and a caper or two.
  • Boursin Cheese, topped with a roasted cherry tomato and some torn fresh basil.
  • Goat’s Curd, topped with some chopped (pitted) kalamata olives, fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • (Persian) Feta Cheese with caramelised onion and fresh oregano or thyme leaves.
  • Taramasalata, topped with a little salmon roe.