Canapes au Camembert (Camembert Tartlet Shells)

Canapes au Camembert (Camembert Tartlet Shells) Recipe

Canapés au camembert are the perfect palate teasers. They have a flaky, buttery shell and are covered with a camembert sauce mornay, which is béchamel and some cheese. The key to a good homogenous spread is a ripe, gooey, aged cheese. The addition of mustard and a hint of red chili pepper make it slightly piquant.

You can serve them as appetizers, as a first course accompanied with a salad or bake in a large tart pan and serve it as a main course for a light lunch.

Making this dish took me back to my time in Paris just before I got married. I was working non-stop, and after work, my boss would often take me for dinner to a brasserie. We would always get some amuse-gueules to start our meal. Amuse, in French, means entertainment in a playful, casual way, and gueule is slang for mouth. Those wonderful appetizers were a perfect way to whet the appetite before a nice meaty main course. Amuse-bouches, like the canapés au camembert I made today, are just a more sophisticated name for the fare I had so often in those brasseries.

Ingredients

Yields: 12

6 ounces camembert, ripe
1 pinch red chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons coarse grain mustard
1/8 teaspoons white peppercorns, freshly ground
1 pinch nutmeg
1 cup half and half, warm, more if needed
3 cups all-purpose flour, + 2 tablespoons
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, + 2-1/2 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup water, cold
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon curly parsley, finely chopped, + for garnish


Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

For the tartelette crust: In a bowl, whisk the egg with the sugar. Lightly oil the bowl of your food processor with a silicone brush. Then mix 3 cups of flour, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, garlic powder and cold water to form a dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl, add the egg mixture and 4 tablespoons of cold diced butter and the vegetable shortening. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and homogenous. Cover with a towel and let stand until the sauce mornay is ready.

For the mornay sauce: Remove the crust of the camembert. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low. Add the red chili powder and 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk for approximately 2 minutes. The flour should absorb the butter instantly and form a paste. Add the warm half and half in 3 stages. Increase the heat while constantly stirring for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to low. Add the remaining salt, mustard and nutmeg. Mix well, then add the camembert cheese and white pepper. Cover the sauce with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter to keep it from forming a skin. Let the sauce cool completely.

Assembly time: Roll the tartlet dough using a rolling pin, about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Create 1-1/2-inch disks of dough. Place the disks into individual mini-tartlet shells previously buttered (or in one 9-inch pie). Add about 2 teaspoons of mornay sauce in the molds. Bake for 20-22 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from the oven, repeat until all the dough is used.

Garnish with a little parsley. Serve warm.

Bon appétit!


Tips

You can substitute the usual store-bought puff pastry for this dough if you want to save time. The tartelette crust has a more flaky, buttery flavor (thanks to the use of vegetable shortening).

If you find camembert to be to strong to your taste, you can substitute brie for example, for a milder flavor.

If you have mornay sauce left-over, don't discard it. Just thin it with a little milk and use it as a sauce for your pasta.

This recipe yields a little more than 2 dozens tartlets.

camambert tart

canapes au camembert

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 6, 2009.


Comments

Discussion:
[-] Foodie with Little Thyme! - Guest-cassie
Beautiful. They look so light and tasty.
[ Posted at 7:36 AM on 8/6/09 | Reply ]
[-] beauties - Guest-doggybloggy
your meal is coming together beautifully my only wish is that I could be enjoying it too!
[ Posted at 9:10 AM on 8/6/09 | Reply ]
Beautifully done Jackie! These look delicious!
[ Posted at 11:08 AM on 8/6/09 | Reply ]
Gosh, this looks sooo good. I have never had anything like this before. You cook a lot of unique and interesting things!!! And the pictures really POP!
[ Posted at 1:46 PM on 8/6/09 | Reply ]
[-] love it - Guest-Liz585
this is so pretty. It just looks to difficult for me to make at home. How long did it take you?

Liz Website Link
[ Posted at 6:50 PM on 8/6/09 | Reply ]
[-] To Liz - Jackie

It is not labor intensive :) It takes the same amount of time as making mac and cheese. As Julia Child would say: "Don't be afraid!" I usually get the kids to make the dough, roll it and place in the molds. It's a lot of fun for them too.

[ Posted at 9:27 PM on 8/6/09 | Reply ]
I am afraid to come over here at night when I can catch up on your posts...you make me want to raid the fridge, but I have nothing like this ready to munch! Darn you and your yummy food posts...so creative you are...
[ Posted at 10:43 PM on 8/6/09 | Reply ]
We are invoulved in a Julia dinner and we chose the Canembert appetiizers. I love your website.
[ Posted at 3:43 PM on 10/1/09 | Reply ]

Order my latest book:
Banh Mi

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