Fabulous Freelancer Foodie Recipe: Cheese Tartlets with Sour Lemon Icing

If you’re searching for a zesty appetizer to pair with a favored beverage, then give this cheese tartlets with sour lemon icing recipe a try!

Note: the original version of this recipe appeared in the cookbook, The Olive and Caper: Adventures in Greek Cooking, by Susanna Hoffman.

Ingredients for the pastry:

  • 4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • ½ cup of water

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 cups of crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the topping:

  • ¾ cup of sour lemon icing (see below for recipe)
    • 1 cup of fresh lemon juice
    • 1 cup of sifted confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of finely shredded lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pastry by sifting the flour and the salt into a large bowl.
  2. Add in the olive oil, and mix with a fork until the mixture becomes crumbly.
  3. Pour the water in, and mix until the ingredients can be gathered into a ball. It’s OK to add more water if the now-dough is too dry.
  4. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and press it into a flattened round.
  5. Set the dough aside for 1 hour, or refrigerate for as long as overnight. Be sure to bring it back to room temperature before using.
  6. Prepare the filling the day of the actual cooking by combining the feta cheese, eggs, sugar, baking powder, and vanilla into a bowl.
  7. Use an electric mixer to thoroughly blend all of the ingredients together.
  8. Gradually beat in the flour and continue to mix everything until it all reaches a creamy consistency, then set the now-filling aside.
  9. Make sure and oven has been preheated to 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and coat three baking sheets with olive oil.
  10. Divide the dough into 4 portions. On a floured surface, roll out one portion as thinly as possible. With a 3 ½-inch round cookie cutter or the lid of a mayonnaise jar, cut out as many rounds of dough as possible. Keep the remaining portions covered with a towel until it’s time to roll each of them out, too.
  11. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center of the dough round. Carefully working around the edge of the dough, use fingers or a toothpick to pinch the dough into upright flutes.
  12. Place the filled shell onto a prepared baking sheet, and repeat with each of the remaining rounds, following by rolling out, cutting, filling, and fluting the remaining pastry portions until all of the tartlets have been made.
  13. Gather up pastry scraps and re-roll them to create as many pastry shells as possible.
  14. Bake about 35 minutes, until the tartlets are golden across the top and edges, and the pastry is crisp. Then, set them aside for a few minutes in order to let them cool.
  15. In the meantime, prepare the sour lemon icing by heating the lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm but not boiling. Add in the confectioners sugar and whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture is creamy white and thickened.
  16. Drizzle each of the completed tartlets with the sour lemon icing, add in a few strands of the lemon zest, and serve.

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