I swear every time I do something baking-related, the weather changes to unseasonably warm. Perhaps this is summer’s way of saying, "Farewell! You're going to miss me."
I’ve never made rugelach before, and in researching recipes for it something deep in my mind was triggered by the ingredients of cream cheese, butter and flour. Add to it the idea of mini-tartlets and my brain had an Aha! moment of Pecan Tassies. Natalie Dupree created the original recipe for Pecan Tassies and this recipe is inspired by that Christmas cookie tray favorite and rugelach, a favorite for the Jewish New Year.
Plum & Walnut Tartlets
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed and chilled
8 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons ice cold water
¼ cup honey
1 ½ cup Italian prune plums, sliced (see Frugal Note 1)
6 oz. walnuts, chopped
Makes 24 tartlets
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time
Bake time: 20 minutes
Cool time: 1 hour
Cut cream cheese and butter. Put in mixing bowl and chill for 20 minutes.
Add flour and optional sugar and mix on medium low until cream cheese mix resembles small peas. Gradually add water (you may need a bit more depending on the flour you use and humidity) and mix until blended. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for an hour or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix sliced plums and honey in microwave safe bowl. Put mixture in microwave and heat on high for 5 minutes. Check occasionally and stir. Take out and cool for a few minutes. Add chopped walnuts.
Pinch off walnut-sized amounts of dough and press into muffin pan. Fill tartlets with plum-walnut filling and put muffin pan on cookie sheet and place on center rack in oven.
Bake 20 minutes. Put on cooling rack and cool for an hour. Freezes fabulously!
Frugal Note 1: You could substitute preserves for the fresh fruit and change the nuts. Maybe apricot and almond as a combination, or do something exotic like guava and macadamia. Diced apples, dried cranberries and pecans would be another great combination.
Frugal Note 2: Originally, I was thinking tart with a pastry cream (that’s why the shopping list/pantry check included eggs, heavy cream and flour) but busy days are what most of us have and so I simplified the recipe.
Always serve with love and friendship!