Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Apple Sausage Tartlets

I have a weakness for anything quiche-like. When the whole flavor comes in one bite, I'm totally hooked. Being apple season, and needing goodies for a party, I wanted to do something savory with apples. I don't know what made me think of combining them with sausage, but the result was a success. 

These aren't really mini-quiches as they have no cream or egg. I think these invoke that richness in flavor though, and each bite comes complete with a great flaky crust. 

Apple Sausage Tartlets
Makes 24

It matters here to use good pork sausage, lots of flavor, not too fatty (we like Jones Dairy Farm; kinda local, mighty tasty). I used Golden Delicious apples for sweetness and because they will hold their texture. Apples vary tremendously in size; I find the smaller ones have more flavor. The amount of maple syrup you want to use will depend on how sweet your apples are. 

Dough (standard tartlet dough)
3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup flour*
Pinch salt

Cream together cream cheese and butter; mix in flour & salt well. Divide into portions and press into cups of mini-muffin tins. Chill while you make the filling. 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1-lb pork sausage (bulk, or casings removed)
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
2-3 apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1/2 cup (or so) shredded smoked gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt. Sauté lightly until softening and turning translucent. Add pork sausage; break up into small pieces while cooking. When almost all the pinkness is gone from the sausage, add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the apples. Turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking until the apples begin to soften. Test and add another tablespoon maple syrup if you'd like. 

Fill chilled crusts with apple/sausage mixture. Divide shredded gouda evenly onto each tartlet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and both the cheese and crusts are turning golden. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a serving platter. Good warm and at room temperature. 

*Our household eats largely gluten-free (I can't tolerate gluten at all), but not grain-free. I use a personal blend based on the 70% grain, 30% starch ratio over on gluten-free-girl and the chef. 

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