Monday, 9 September 2013

Pushing the Boat Out - a Trio of Tantalising Tartlets

Fanny gives me her instruction on what an 'individual' savoury tartlet size should be - it's really for me to decide I presume depending on which rather grand occasion I am catering for on which very special evening I am planning. If I am making canapés they should be 'one bite size'. If I am making elegant appetisers, they of course need to be 'two bite size'. The 'three bite size' tartlets are saved for a favourite daily snack time for Fanny that she calls 'omnivorous', which sounds good to me - devouring everything in sight seems to sum me up at the moment.

So, what are these Petits Tartelettes Savoureuses that Fanny is tempting me with today? The first of the trio are Papillions a la Russe, or plain old Savoury Butterflies. Except there is nothing plain about these little lovelies, as you might expect. I choose 'three bite size' tartlet cases and bake blind some of Fanny's savoury paste as before. The only other ingredients are a simple Vegetable Macédoine (which of course Fanny does not explain), some mayonnaise and oh yes, some green food colouring. I wondered when that would make an appearance.

So I chop up into very small cubes some carrots, potatoes, French beans and cook them gently in some butter and oil with garden peas until they are soft. Thank heavens for Google. Then I combine the mayonnaise with a drop or two of green colouring. Fanny recommends using perfectly harmless vegetable colouring, just in case anyone was feeling risky and fancied opting for a toxic animal based variety. 

It's very bright. Just as Fanny would want. Now all I need to do is mix the vegetables with the mayonnaise and fill the pre-baked tartlet case. Oh yeah, and of course, add some butterfly wings made from pastry off cuts. Flutter flutter little tartlets. Have you ever seen butterflies that look like this?

Tartlet number two is a variation on Fanny's suggestion. She recommends Ham and Egg filling, but as a veggie alternative I reach for my trusty Macsweens Veggie Haggis, which I think will work wonderfully. This time the tartlet case is lined with wilted spinach, topped with a slice of lightly fried Veggie Haggis and finished off with an egg 'poached' in a little butter inside a scone cutter, naturally.

The final in this tempting little trio are something Fanny seems very proud of - Petits Bateaux Savoureux. Yes, little Savoury Boats. Fanny tells me that it really is quite inexpensive to pop out and buy some little boat shaped moulds, and it really will be such fun to see them 'sailing' between a plateful of other tartlets. I already have a cupboard groaning with various tins, moulds and cooking paraphernalia so am really not keen to purchase any more, no matter how fun it would be. However I have a cunning plan! I bake some savoury pastry in my Madeleine tin - genius! Why didn't Fanny think of this? For this one I need some of my Macédoine from earlier, some cream cheese, a few processed cheese triangles and some very straight pretzel sticks. I could only find Twiglets.

It's a simple case of mixing the cream cheese with the vegetables, filling the 'boat' pastry case, adding a 'sail' of cheese triangle and then to 'complete the illusion' adding the stick as shown... Watch them little boats sail across my dish! I bet Dynamo himself would be fooled by this particular illusion - expect to see it in his next show.

Fanny reassures me that all of these savoury tartlets are really rather simple to put together - she has entrusted little Sally (who has 'only' been with Johnnie and Fanny for six months instruction at the time of writing) to make and garnish all three all by herself. I assume it's been a very intensive period of six month training for poor little Sally. The finished tartlets are really fun, slightly odd to look at but really quite tasty as ever. So, let's wolf them all down, erm, I mean partake in our daily 'omnivorous' session, quick before the other guests arrive in time for for cocktails and canapés.


  1. Those Papillions a la Russe are something else! Good old Fanny, any excuse to crack out the old food dye!!

    1. They are quite trippy! Well actually with the cheese triangle 'boats' they look perfectly normal!

  2. Oh my these are bright and funky! Am loving the use of twiglets and cheese triangles. Awesome blog :-)

    1. Thank you! Just getting started so really appreciate the support! Fanny did love her food colouring so expect more to follow!