So I know the easy thing to do would be just to run out to the store and buy one of the many pre-made/toss in the oven appetizers that are out there. But sometimes it’s fun to just create your own tasty appetizers at home – I love cooking and playing in the kitchen. Now does that mean I want to slave over the stove all day preparing things? No (well maybe sometimes on a VERY special occasion). But honestly not many of us have time to make elaborate professional looking appetizers… or do we? I say you do, all you need is a little puff pastry.
Thanks to our friends at Pepperidge Farm we got some pretty awesome and easy recipes, all of which can be created with their very user friendly Puff Pastry Sheets.
Since I had some friends coming over this past weekend I decided to tackle the Pepperidge Farm recipe for Spinach, Crab & Artichoke Mini Tarts, and I was pleasantly surprised. Follow along below to see just how easy it is to make a decadent and delicious appetizer that looks as good as it tastes. Your guests will surely be impressed, mine were.
Spinach, Crab & Artichoke Mini Tarts
Thaw time: 40 minutes
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 pieces
What you’ll need:
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- a generous dash of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
- 1/3 cup well drained chopped canned artichoke hearts
- 1/3 cup lump crab-meat, well drained
- 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
- 3 tablespoons of Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 small sprigs fresh parsley
- a 12 cup mini muffin tray
How to Make:
Be sure to take your puff pastry out at least 30 minutes prior to let it thaw.
Now to get things started make sure to prepare all your ingredients as indicated in the list above and get it ready to use.
(Side note) I just love the blend of colors here.
Next preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Stir the mayonnaise, sour cream and pepper in a medium bowl.
Add the spinach, artichokes and crab meat and mix lightly.
Stir the bread crumbs, cheese and oil in a small bowl and set aside.
Next up, unfold the pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface (don’t be afraid, this is easy and the pastry is simple to work with!)
Cut the pastry sheet into 3 (2 1/2 inch wide) strips. Discard any remaining pastry (try not to discard it into your mouth, it’s very tempting!)
Then cut each strip into 4 (2 1/2 inch) squares, making 12 in all.
Press the pastry squares into lightly greased mini muffin-pan cups (cups are about 1 3/4 inch).
Now for the fun part (who am I kidding, this whole thing is fun).
Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of crab mixture into each pastry cup. Then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the bread/cheese crumb mixture over each filled pastry.
It should look like this:
Now the extreme close-up version (yes I was getting happy with my camera).
Bake the tarts for about 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.
See, amaaaazing. How simple was that, really.
Also recommended, top each pastry with 1 sprig of parsley before serving.
That’s it, you’re done! This seriously took me under 45 minutes to make.
Obviously if you are creating these tasty little treats for a party you’ll want to double or triple the recipe, and possibly have more than one 12 cup mini muffin pan on hand.
I also recommend keeping these appetizers warm until ready to serve. They taste best when they are warm and crispy, the pastry will melt in your mouth.
Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Have fun baking!