My latest party recipe: Sweet Potato Mini-Tarts.
I got rave reviews on my sweet potato casserole with cranberry-macadamia topping at Christmas, so I decided to adapt the recipe for use as a mini party dessert / appetizer. Last week I gave you the run down on making the tartlet shells… they were very easy and inexpensive to make, but if you’re pressed for time, you can use any type of pre-made appetizer shells for this recipe.
The same ideas can of course be adapted for other types of mini-pies, but I’ll tell you these were certainly a hit at this weekend’s gathering!
So, check out the step-by-step in the photo-recipe below! The actual recipe follows.
Photo-Recipe – Sweet Potato Mini-Tarts
1. Wash and slice sweet potatoes, 2. Boil or roast until soft, 3. When cool enough to handle, peel., 4. Puree with other ingredients, 5. Pureed Filling, 6. ‘Homemade’ Tart Shells to make: Make Tart Shells How-to, 7. Fill plastic bag or piping bag, 8. Cut hole for piping, 9. Pipe into Shells, 10. Filled Shells, 11. Make the topping, 12. Add nuts and fruit, 13. Completed Topping, 14. Top with about a teaspoon of the topping, 15. Baked and ready to eat!
Note: I have promised to write up the recipe for the sweet potato casserole that inspired this, but I haven’t done that yet–I will!! For the tartlets, I figured since the shells were pre-cooked, the filling only needed to be heated through and the toppings toasted, so I left out the eggs and changed the proportions, so the filling for these is closer to a sweet mashed potato, rather than a souffle.
Yield: Makes about 50 mini-tarts
2-3 Sweet Potatoes (enough to make 2+ cups cooked-Just cook extra if you’re not sure.)
(for each 2-3 cups sweet potato*)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter (softened)
1/3 c brown sugar
2 Tbls butter (firm)
1/4 c flour
~1/2 c dried cranberries
~1/2 c macadamia nuts**
Mini Tart shells (~48)
Make your own ahead of time (easy & cheap!)
or storebought (any type of pastry shell / phyllo shell that holds about 1 ounce – if yours hold more, take that into account in the amount of filling required.)
*Because sizes of sweet potatoes vary, you may end up with more filling than you need, or more than will fit in your food processor! Just go ahead and puree all of it, adjusting the amount of sugar, butter, and milk for larger quantities. This isn’t an exact science, and just like making mashed potatoes, you have some leeway. Simply taste your potatoes to ensure they taste good, and add milk gradually to ensure your filling is firm enough to pipe into the shells, and you’ll be fine.
…and if you end up with leftover potato puree, it makes an excellent sidedish for dinner!
**Pecans would be an excellent alternate choice!
First, the filling, which is basically mashed sweet potatoes. This can be done in a food processor or a stand mixer (use a stand mixer if you’re doing a larger quantity).
Slice your potatoes into even sized rounds, and boil for about 10 minutes or until you can stab them with a fork with little resistance.
Run them under cold water in a colander, let cool to touch. Remove the skins, they should peel off easily with your fingers.
In a food processor (or mixer) combine the sweet potatoes with the butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. (1 batch in my food processor was about the right amount for the 50 tarts, but I made extra just in case, and we had the remaining for dinner!). Puree until smooth and thick (See photos).
The neatest method for transferring the filling to the shells is piping it. If you don’t have a piping bag you want to use, just fill a ziptop sandwich bag with your filling, then trim off a corner (trim small at first, you can always make it bigger!).
Line up your shells on a cookie sheet, and squeeze the filling into the waiting pastry shells.
Clean out your food processor if necessary, then add your brown sugar, firm butter, and flour. Pulse together until the flour is absorbed and the mixture is looking crumbly.
Add your macadamias and your cranberries, and pulse several more times to break up the macadamias a bit and incorporate them into the mixture.
I put about a half cup of each in at first, then decided I wanted more so I added maybe an additional 1/4 cup or so of each.
Sprinkle the topping on your waiting tartlets. Each tart gets about a teaspoon of topping — but don’t measure.
Tarts can be prepared and refrigerated ahead of time (even frozen), so the night of the party, just pop the tray in the oven at about 375 degrees until the toppings brown and caramelize… about 10 minutes should do it. Keep an eye on it, you don’t want the nuts to burn or the shells to get over done. Mine got left in a little long due to a timer setting error, but they still came out ok.
Can be served warm or room temp.
That’s about it!
As I mentioned, I had leftover potatoes, since I wasn’t sure exactly how much filling I would need and had wanted to be sure I had enough!
Needless to say, that did not go to waste.
I spooned the left over sweet potato mixture into a baking dish.
The topping recipe outlined above was about the right amount for 50 tarts, but I wanted topping on this, so I mixed up a little more (that was pretty heavy on the nuts and fruit).
Sprinkled the topping on, and baked (375 I think?) it for about 15 minutes, or until the topping was crunchy and tan. Just check to see that it is hot all the way through, and you have a perfect sidedish!