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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Creamed Greens



Creamed Greens is a delicious way to get in a serving or two of a leafy green vegetable.  A cream sauce is quick and easy to make and with a package of frozen greens ready in the freezer this dish comes together quite nicely.  

As a child, I was never a lover of greens on my plate.  I had the misfortune of choking on a long stringy mouthful when I was about 6 or 7 years old and it left me dubious about their benefits in my diet.  Don also had a similar experience as a child.  As I grew older and my tastes widened I again tried greens and actually liked them.  But because of childhood memories, I always chop them before serving.  Chopping really cuts down on the choking factor.  

In Newfoundland, when referring to greens, one usually means "turnip greens" or "turnip tops" as I grew up calling them. But this recipe for Creamed Greens can use any favourite green as an ingredient.  This is not a traditional dish in Newfoundland but it should be!  What a great way to serve greens, especially for a vegetarian meal.  Tradition would have the greens cooked with a big chunk of salt beef (or pork) and served along side potatoes, turnip and carrots.  

Today I used the traditional turnip tops for my Creamed Greens but any cooked green will be more than satisfactory.  Remember not to overcook the greens before stirring them in the cream sauce.


Creamed Greens
About 1 pound (454 grams) frozen greens or enough fresh greens to serve at least 6
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup full fat milk or for richer sauce use half and half
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch nutmeg

Cook the frozen or fresh greens in lightly salted water until to desired doneness. (The greens can also be cooked in a little vegetarian chicken or beef bouillon.)  If you are using commercially prepared greens, follow the package directions. The time of cooking depends on the type of greens you use. Spinach will only take a minute or two but heavier greens such as turnip, chard, beet, kale or collards, etc. will take considerably longer–at least 20-25 minutes.  When cooked, drain and press out excess liquid.  You can even squeeze them dry with your hands if you let them cool down. Chop the greens into small pieces.  (This can also be done before cooking.)

In a medium saucepan cook the onions in the butter until translucent and just starting to caramelize. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually stir in the milk and bring to a low boil or simmer. Cook until the sauce becomes thick and there is no raw flour taste.  Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  

Add the well-drained and chopped greens to the hot sauce.  Stir and let the greens heat through before serving.  

Serves 6.



Prepare the greens by cooking them in lightly salted water.  Drain when cooked and press out all the excess liquid.  Chop the greens either before or after cooking.  


If you wish you may start the cream sauce while the greens are cooking.  Cook the onions in the butter until translucent and a little caramelization is starting to happen.   Stir in the flour and  cook for a minute.  


Gradually stir in the milk and bring to a low boil or simmer and cook until thick.


 Add the seasonings.

A little ground nutmeg really brings out the flavour of the greens. Just a pinch will do.

Add the greens to the sauce or add the sauce to the greens. It really doesn't matter.  Which ever pot is larger.  


 Stir everything together and heat through before serving.


Yum, yum! Creamed turnip tops for my dinner.


print recipe
Creamed Greens
Your favourite greens will taste extra good in this well-seasoned cream sauce with onions.
Ingredients
  • About 1 pound (454 grams) frozen greens or enough fresh greens to serve at least 6
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup full fat milk or for richer sauce use half and half
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
Instructions
Cook the frozen or fresh greens in lightly salted water until to desired doneness. (The greens can also be cooked in a little vegetarian chicken or beef bouillon.) If you are using commercially prepared greens, follow the package directions. The time of cooking depends on the type of greens you use. Spinach will only take a minute or two but heavier greens such as turnip, chard, kale or collards, etc. will take considerably longer–at least 20-25 minutes. When cooked, drain and press out excess liquid. You can even squeeze them dry with your hands if you let them cool down. Chop the greens into small pieces. (This can also be done before cooking.)

In a medium saucepan cook the onions in the butter until translucent and just starting to caramelize. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk and bring to a low boil or simmer. Cook until the sauce becomes thick and there is no raw flour taste. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Add the well-drained and chopped greens to the hot sauce. Stir and let the greens heat through before serving.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake


Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake is a decadent, rich dessert that begs to be shared with family and friends.  Creamy New York style cheesecake covers your favourite peanut butter cups and a chocolate cookie crumb crust holds everything together.  

Who knew that National Cheesecake Day and our wedding anniversary would coincide in 2017?!  Ha, ha.  I didn't know that when I started out making this cheesecake for our anniversary. We've been married 39 years today. We didn't have cheesecake at our wedding but we had it for our anniversary. Actually, I made a small 6-inch cake for Don's birthday last month and he liked it so much I told him I'd make another one for our anniversary.   
Don's birthday cheesecake.

I decided I'd make a large 9-inch cake to share with family and friends because a 6-inch cake has its limitations in the sharing department.  Ha.  After some planning and looking around I found a good recipe for the filling that was almost the same as the one I'd mixed up for Don's birthday.  I didn't have a recipe for that one and just threw it together by guess.  The filling for the 9-inch cake comes from Better Homes and Gardens. Why reinvent the wheel or the cheesecake?  I made a couple of modifications and the little cake was very successfully replicated.


Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
2 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (About 18 Oreo or FudgeeO cookies, etc.)
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup cream
3 eggs, slightly beaten
About 300 gram package miniature peanut butter cups (about 3 cups or enough to cover the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.)


Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce
¼ cup cream
6 caramel candies (like Kraft individually wrapped)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
A few drops vanilla

Chocolate Ganache
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Garnish, Optional
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Extra peanut butter cups


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper.  This will help when removing the cake from the pan to a serving plate.

Crust: Crush the chocolate cookies until fine crumbs are achieved. Do not remove the frosting holding the cookies together.  Use a food processor or roll the crumbs fine using a rolling pin. Combine the crumbs with the melted butter.  Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared springform pan.  The crumbs should be at least 1½ inches up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust in the preheated oven 8 minutes.  Remove and let cool while making the filling.

Filling:  In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in the cream until smooth. Add beaten eggs, mixing on low speed only until combined.

Scatter the miniature peanut butter cups over the bottom of the crust.  You should have enough cups to fill the bottom without any large gaps between the candy.  Pour the filling over the peanut butter cups and smooth the top.  Place in the 350 degree oven and immediately lower temperature to 300 degrees.  Bake 50 to 60 minutes until the edges are firm but the middle is still a little giggly.  Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest 30 minutes in oven.  Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes.  Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan.

Let rest another 30 minutes and then release the spring on the pan.  Remove the pan and let the cheesecake cool completely. You may now add the toppings to the cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours if you can't wait any longer but it is best to let the cheesecake rest overnight before serving.  

Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce:  In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the caramels and peanut butter in the cream.  Stir until smooth.  Let cool but don't let it get cold.  Can also be made in a microwave.

Chocolate Ganache:  In a small saucepan bring the cream to a near simmer.  Turn off heat and add the chocolate.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Lay aside until cool but not cold.  

Spread the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce over the surface of the cake. Smooth the top.  Place the ganache in a small sandwich bag and snip the corner to make a small opening.  Pipe the chocolate over the top of the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce to make a pleasing pattern.  

Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Optional Garnish: Whip about ½ cup whipping cream with 2 teaspoons sugar and vanilla if desired. Pipe or spoon whipped cream on top of cake and top with extra peanut butter cups.  

Makes 12-16 slices.


I used a 290 gram package of Dare Ultimate Fudge cookies.  There were 18 cookies in the pack.  Any chocolate sandwich cookie will be suitable for the crust.  


I used my new food processor to crush the cookies.  The 18 cookies made exactly 2 cups of crumbs. Add the melted butter and press into a 9-inch springform pan.


I used 2 packages of mini peanut butter cups which came to 314 grams or about 3 cups.  


The crust should come up the sides about 1½ inches.  Bake the crust 8 minutes and let cool.  Scatter the mini peanut butter cups over the cooled surface of the crust. If there are any cups left over, save them if you will be using them for garnish.  Don't eat them like I did!


While the crust is baking start preparing the cheesecake filling.  I stock up on cream cheese when it goes on sale. Cream the cheese. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before you begin.


Combine the sugar and flour together.  

Add the flour, sugar and vanilla to the creamed cheese.

Beat until well combined but don't over beat.  

Once the mixture is well combined add the cream.

Lightly beat the eggs.

Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture.  Blend in on low speed until just combined.  Do not over beat.  Air pockets will form if you beat the mixture too much. 


Pour the cheesecake filling over the peanut butter cakes and level off the top.  Bake at 300 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Turn off the oven and leave the cake in for 30 minutes.  Remove and cool.


Let cake cool 5 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake from the sides.  This will prevent the top from cracking near the edges.  After 30 minutes release the spring on the side of the pan and remove the sides of the pan.  Let sit until cool.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to decorate the top.  The cheesecake should not be served until it has chilled for a minimum of 4 hours but overnight is better.  


While the cheesecake is cooling and chilling prepare the toppings. For the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce melt caramels and peanut butter in cream over low heat.


Add a few drops of vanilla and stir until smooth. Cool.

 Pour the sauce over the top of the cold cheesecake.

Spread over and smooth the top.  It doesn't have to be perfect as you will be piping chocolate over the top of the sauce.


To make the ganache heat the cream to just below simmering. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. 


Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth. Cool.

Place the cooled chocolate in a small sandwich bag.  Snip the end and pipe chocolate over the top of the peanut sauce.


If you wish garnish with dollops or rosettes of sweetened whipped cream and extra peanut butter cups.  Because I ate some of the miniature cups I had to buy a couple of bars and cut them up for garnish.  LOL.  


The cheesecake serves 12-16.


Happy Anniversary, Don! 
Happy Cheesecake Day, everyone else!




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Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
Creamy, rich, vanilla cheesecake covers your favourite peanut butter cups, encased in a chocolate crumb crust.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (About 18 Oreo or FudgeeO cookies, etc.)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • About 300 gram package miniature peanut butter cups (About 3 cups or enough to cover the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.)
Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 6 caramel candies (like Kraft individually wrapped)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • A few drops vanilla
Chocolate Ganache
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Garnish, optional
  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • Extra peanut butter cups
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper. This will help when removing the cake from the pan to a serving plate.

Crust: Crush the chocolate cookies until fine crumbs are achieved. Do not remove the frosting holding the cookies together. Use a food processor or roll the crumbs fine using a rolling pin. Combine the crumbs with the melted butter. Firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared springform pan. The crumbs should be at least 1½ inches up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust in the preheated oven 8 minutes. Remove and let cool while making the filling.

Filling: In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in the cream until smooth. Add beaten eggs, mixing on low speed only until combined.

Scatter the miniature peanut butter cups over the bottom of the crust. You should have enough cups to fill the bottom without any large gaps between the candy. Pour the filling over the peanut butter cups and smooth the top. Place in the 350 degree oven and immediately lower temperature to 300 degrees. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until the edges are firm but the middle is still a little giggly. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest 30 minutes in oven. Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan.

Let rest another 30 minutes and then release the spring on the pan. Remove the pan and let the cheesecake cool completely. You may now add the toppings to the cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours if you can't wait any longer but it is best to let the cheesecake rest overnight before serving.

Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the caramels and peanut butter in the cream. Stir until smooth. Let cool but don't let it get cold. Can also be made in a microwave.

Chocolate Ganache: In a small saucepan bring the cream to a near simmer. Turn off heat and add the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Lay aside until cool but not cold.

Spread the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce over the surface of the cake. Smooth the top. Place the ganache in a small sandwich bag and snip the corner to make a small opening. Pipe the chocolate over the top of the Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce to make a pleasing pattern.

Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Optional Garnish: Whip about ½ cup whipping cream with 2 teaspoons sugar and vanilla if desired. Pipe or spoon whipped cream on top of cake and top with extra peanut butter cups.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12-16 slices

Friday, July 21, 2017

Veggie Burgers with Vegetarian Burger


These Veggie Burgers are not only tasty but quite economical to make as well.  I like to make these with Yves Ground Round but any vegetarian burger, frozen or canned, will do as well.  Oatmeal and bread crumbs stretch the more expensive burger so you can feed your family for just a few dollars.

Sometimes I have half a package of burger left over from making a meal. I often half recipes because Don and I don't need full size recipes for just the two of us.  This Veggie Burger recipe uses only half a package or about 1 cup burger so that suits our needs just perfectly.  The recipe makes 6-8 burgers (depending on the size you make them) which is good amount for a small family.  I freeze any leftovers for meal of hamburgers on another day. If you do need a load of burgers just double all the ingredients and you'll have 12-14 burgers to serve to your hungry family and guests.


Veggie Burgers with Vegetarian Burger
½ package Yves Ground Round or about 1 cup frozen or canned vegetarian burger
1 slice whole wheat bread, made into crumbs or about ⅓ cup bread crumbs
1 cup oatmeal
2 eggs
1 small onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon hamburger or steak spice/seasoning
½ teaspoon savory
2 tablespoons oil
¼ cup hot tap water or warm milk 
Oil for frying

Mix everything together except the frying oil.  Let sit about 5 minutes to let the oatmeal soak up some of the liquid. Use ice cream scoop or large spoonfuls to make hamburger patties. Drop on hot oiled frying pan.  Fry slowly on low heat until nicely browned on each side.  Serve on buns with your favourite toppings.

Makes 6-8 burger patties.



Place all ingredients in a bowl.

Water or milk can be used.  
Today I used water but some days I use milk.

Mix all the ingredients together and let sit about 5 minutes to allow the oatmeal to absorb some of the liquid.


Use an ice cream scoop or a ¼-cup measure to make the patties all the same size.  You should get about 6-8 patties depending on the size you make them.


Today I made 7 burger patties from my recipe.

 Yum! Veggie Burgers with all the trimmings served with a good handful of potato chips.  


Tasty and economical.

print recipe
Veggie Burgers with Vegetarian Burger
Veggie Burgers made with vegetarian burger and oatmeal are tasty and economical.
Ingredients
  • ½ package Yves Ground Round or about 1 cup frozen or canned vegetarian burger
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread, made into crumbs or about ⅓ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon hamburger or steak spice/seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon savory
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup hot tap water or warm milk
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
Mix everything together except the frying oil. Let sit about 5 minutes to let the oatmeal soak up some of the liquid. Use ice cream scoop or large spoonfuls to make hamburger patties. Drop on hot oiled frying pan. Fry slowly on low heat until nicely browned on each side. Serve on buns with your favourite toppings.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 burger patties

Sunday, June 18, 2017

O Canada Roasted Tomato & Cheese Tart


Canada's 150th birthday is right on the horizon and celebrations will abound throughout the country. What better way to celebrate than with family and friends over a meal, barbecue or picnic. Roasted Tomato & Cheese Tart is a delightful way to not only wave the flag but to indulge in a rich, cheesy tart topped with oven roasted grape tomatoes.  Serve it as a main with a big green and vegetable salad or cut in smaller pieces for a tasty appetizer.  

There is no history to this recipe.  It is new for Canada's 150th Anniversary of Confederation. It's my birthday gift to the nation or at least to my family, ha, ha.  Hopefully, some of the family will still be making it by the time Canada celebrates its 175th birthday! That would make it historic. Well, it's a thought, anyway.  

The recipe makes a large tart in a 9x13-inch pan. You'll get 15-20 servings or more if cut smaller for appetizers--perfect for entertaining.  I found it was more successful in a cookie pan than a cake pan because the cake pan is deeper and it was hard to remove the tart for display and serving. The shallow cookie pan allowed me to slide the tart out quite successfully unto the cutting board. The tart can be served hot, warm or cold but I enjoyed it warm best of all.  

For ordinary days divide the ingredients between two 8- or 9-inch tart or pie pans or make half the recipe for 1 tart.  Pile the roasted tomatoes on top just as you would berries on a cheesecake. 

Any plain pie crust can be used.  I have several on this blog, here, here and here.  Or you may use frozen pie crust, if you wish.


Roasted Tomato & Cheese Tart

Double pie crust (I used the Oil Crust)
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dry basil or Italian herb mix
2 tablespoons butter or oil
Pinch black or white pepper
1 - 2 cups cheese, grated (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss, Gruyere, etc.) whatever you have on hand
2-4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
½ cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon white pepper
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
Roasted Tomatoes, see recipe below

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Roast the tomatoes once the oven is heated.  See the recipe below for Roasted Tomatoes. This may also be done earlier in the day or the day before.  Refrigerate if roasted the day before. 


While the tomatoes are roasting get the pastry ready. Roll out the pastry and fit into a 9x13-inch baking or cookie pan. Build up the sides about an inch to hold the filling. (See pictures below.)  As a note, my 9x13-inch cookie pan is a little larger than my 9x13-inch cake pan. Don't know who stamped the measurement on them but they are both different sizes!  Either one will work except it is easier to remove the baked tart from the cookie pan. I lined the pan with a strip of foil hanging over the long sides.  I used the foil to help slide the tart out of the pan when it was baked. You will not use all the pastry.  Any leftovers can be used for a small pie or frozen until needed.  


Blind bake the pastry 15 minutes in 400 degree oven.  Click on the link to see how to blind bake pie crust.  Let the tart crust cool a few minutes before adding the filling.


While pastry is baking prepare the filling. 


In a small frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic and basil in the butter or oil.  Do not let the onions brown. Season with the pepper.  Spread evenly over the pre-baked tart crust.  


Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the onions.  Then layer the grated cheese evenly over the onion layer.  I used a mix of several cheeses. There should be an even layer of cheese covering the bottom of the tart.  You may use up to 2 cups if you wish.  


Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.


Beat the cream cheese until smooth and somewhat fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and add the salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Add the whipping cream and beat until everything is well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times.  Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture over the grated cheese layer.  Smooth the top.


Bake 18 - 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven before the top starts to brown.  Let cool a few minutes and then carefully remove by sliding the tart from the baking/cookie pan to a large serving plate or cutting board.  Use the flaps of overhanging foil to help with the transfer.


Arrange the roasted tomatoes in the pattern of the Canadian flag. Click on the link for a maple leaf pattern


The tart may be served hot, warm or room temperature.


Makes 15-20 servings or each serving may be cut in half for appetizer size servings.



Roasted Tomatoes
6 cups grape tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt 
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet or pan with foil for easy clean up.  Wash and dry tomatoes.  Spread about 2 tablespoons oil over the foil.  Place the tomatoes on the foil in a single layer.  Dribble the remaining oil over the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use Kosher salt if you have it. Place the tomatoes in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, gently stirring or turning tomatoes every 10 minutes.   Let cool.  Any remaining tomatoes not used can served along side the tart or stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for 3 or 4 days. 




Spread about half the olive oil on a foil lined pan.  Place the washed and dried grape tomatoes in single layer on the pan and drizzle with remaining oil.


 Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper.  Use coarse or Kosher salt if you have it. 

Roast the tomatoes in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes gently stirring or turning every 10 minutes. 

When the tomatoes have roasted their skins should have popped and become loose. Let the tomatoes cool while you prepare the pastry and filling.


I lined my pan with a strip of folded foil.  The overlapping ends help to remove the tart from the pan after it is baked.


Roll or press the pastry into your pan.  Build up the edges to about 1-inch so the filling will not spill out. I used the Oil Crust which gives a sturdy but crisp base.  I also added a teaspoon of dry basil to my flour mix when making the pastry.  Once the pastry has been fitted into the pan blind bake for 15 minutes.  I lined the pastry with foil wrap and poured pie weights (dry beans) in to keep the pastry from puffing up while baking.  Remove the beans when you take the crust from the oven.


While the tart shell is baking, start the filling.  Sauté the onion, garlic and dry basil in the oil or butter until the onions are soft but not browned. Spread the onion mixture evenly over the prebaked crust.


Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the onions. If you don't like the strong taste of Parmesan, use the smaller amount. 

Evenly sprinkle the grated cheese over the Parmesan cheese.  You can use any cheese you like.  I used all white cheeses, Mozzarella and Emmental on the left and a mixture of orange Cheddar and Mozzarella on the right.  Both were excellent.  

Beat the cream cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder together. Add the eggs and beat until well blended.  Beat in the whipping cream. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to make sure all the cream cheese has been incorporated into the mix. 

Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the top of the tart.  An offset spatula is a great help when spreading.


The tart is ready to be baked at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. If you look carefully you can see the ends of the foil hanging out from both ends of the pan.  This will help with removal for serving and displaying the tart.

Once the tart is baked let it cool for a few minutes.  Use a maple leaf pattern and mark around the outside using the tip of a knife or a toothpick.  Slide the cooled tart to a serving plate or cutting board.  A cutting board works well as not many people have a flat serving plate this size.  I used the foil under the crust to help slide the tart to the board.


Once the tart has been transferred to the serving board, place the roasted grape tomatoes in the Canadian flag pattern.  I used 2 rows of tomatoes on each side for the red sidebars on the flag, filling in gaps with a few extras.  The maple leaf is a little more difficult but I was pleased with the outcome.  


 I love roasted tomatoes.  I'll have my slice from this side, please.

If you have extra tomatoes, serve them with the tart.  Unfortunately, there were no leftover tomatoes in my house.  I ate them.


Serve the Roasted Tomato & Cheese Tart hot, warm, room temperature or cold.  The tart reheats lovely.  I like it warm or room temperature best. 


A delicious treat for Canada Day celebrations!





print recipe

Roasted Tomato & Cheese Tart
A delicious tomato cheese tart for vegetarian main dish or appetizer.
Ingredients
  • 1 double pie crust (I used the Oil Crust.)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil or Italian herb mix
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • Pinch black or white pepper
  • 1-2 cups cheese, grated (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss, Gruyere, etc.) whatever you have on hand
  • 2-4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Roasted Tomatoes, see recipe below
Instructions
Preparation time below is approximate and includes blind baking the crust and roasting the tomatoes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roast the tomatoes once the oven is heated. See the recipe below for Roasted Tomatoes. This may also be done earlier in the day or the day before. Refrigerate if roasted the day before.

While the tomatoes are roasting get the pastry ready. Roll out the pastry and fit into a 9x13-inch baking or cookie pan. Build up the sides about an inch to hold the filling. (See pictures below.) As a note, my 9x13-inch cookie pan is a little larger than my 9x13-inch cake pan. Don't know who stamped the measurement on them but they are both different sizes! Either one will work except it is easier to remove the baked tart from the cookie pan. I lined the pan with a strip of foil hanging over the long sides. I used the foil to help slide the tart out of the pan when it was baked. You will not use all the pastry. Any leftovers can be used for a small pie or frozen until needed.

Blind bake the pastry 15 minutes in 400 degree oven. Click on the link to see how to blind bake pie crust. Let the tart crust cool a few minutes before adding the filling.

While pastry is baking prepare the filling.

In a small frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic and basil in the butter or oil. Do not let the onions brown. Season with the pepper. Spread evenly over the pre-baked tart crust.

Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the onions. Then layer the grated cheese evenly over the onion layer. I used a mix of several cheeses. There should be an even layer of cheese covering the bottom of the tart. You may use up to 2 cups if you wish.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth and somewhat fluffy. Beat in the eggs and add the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add the whipping cream and beat until everything is well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times. Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture over the grated cheese layer. Smooth the top.

Bake 18 - 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven before the top starts to brown. Let cool a few minutes and then carefully remove by sliding the tart from the baking/cookie pan to a large serving plate or cutting board. Use the flaps of overhanging foil to help with the transfer.

Arrange the roasted tomatoes in the pattern of the Canadian flag. Click on the link for a maple leaf pattern.

The tart may be served hot, warm or room temperature.

Makes 15-20 servings or each serving may be cut in half for appetizer size servings.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 15-20 servings for main; 30-40 appetizer servings



Roasted Tomatoes

  • 6 cups grape tomatoe
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet or pan with foil for easy clean up.  Wash and dry tomatoes.  Spread about 2 tablespoons oil over the foil.  Place the tomatoes on the foil in a single layer.  Dribble the remaining oil over the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use Kosher salt if you have it. Place the tomatoes in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, gently stirring or turning tomatoes every 10 minutes.   Let cool.  Any remaining tomatoes not used can served along side the tart or stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for 3 or 4 days.