I realize I’m deluding myself when I say this, but these aren’t tarts. They are pizzas. With puff pastry, and no sauce, and no cheese, and tart like toppings. OK. Fine. They are tarts.
But the original idea I had made them sound more like little pizzas that would be perfect finger foods for the Slashfood garden party. The pastry can be made the night before (or store bought), and baked just prior, which only takes about 15 minutes. Regular puff pastry will do just fine, but I was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Portuguese Custard Pies which have beautiful herbs and spices rolled into the dough adding just a hint of flavor and a gorgeous spiral pattern.
Then, the “crusts” can be individually topped as desired. I desired smoked salmon with capers and cream and a bit of pear for dessert.
For the crusts, I recommend Bea’s excellent puff pastry recipe, which is quite simple once you get the knack. Just be sure you leave yourself plenty of time so you can fold and roll many times. Once they are ready to form, cut the dough in half and one half into a large sheet, a bit bigger than a letter sized piece of paper.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Brush the pastry very lightly with a bit of egg yolk, and cover with your choice of herbs and spices. For savory, I used finely grated Guyere cheese and paprika. For the sweeter crusts, I used brown sugar, clove and nutmeg mixed with a bit of grated lime zest. Then, roll the dough up into a long tube like you were making cinnamon rolls. With a sharp knife, cut the tube into slices (you may need to chill the dough if it seems too soft at this point.)
Take each slice and gently flatten between your palms. On a well floured surface, roll the slice to make a thin disc, about the size of a tea saucer. Place on a baking sheet, and repeat with the rest of the slices. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove, and cool for about 15 minutes before topping.