These beetroot walnut tarts are a wee bit cheffy, but totally worth the effort! The filo pastry shells are crisp and feather-light. The cream filling melts in your mouth, subtly flavoured with walnuts and porcini mushrooms, and marries beautifully with the pickled beetroot. Horseradish cream adds another layer of flavour and a pop of heat. Serve these beauties as a light starter to wow your guests, or as part of a canapé selection with drinks.
Tips and Variations for Beetroot Walnut Tarts
- For the syphon, we use and recommend the Mosa Professional Whipper .5 litre. This is not an affiliate post.
- If you don’t have a syphon, you can swap the walnut cream for soft goat’s cheese (goat curd) or whipped feta.
- Please don’t use use store-bought beetroot! Try our recipe for pickled vegetables and pickle your own beetroot. It’s far less complicated than it sounds. In fact, it only takes minutes and tastes far better than anything you will find in a store. You can use a simple box grater, or a food processor with a grating attachment.
- Mix it up by adding smoked salmon to the tarts. If you use smoked salmon, you’ll need to reduce the amount of pickled beetroot. We topped our tarts with crème fraîche when we added salmon.
- Always strain your walnut cream mixture before putting it in your syphon. The smallest lump will block the syphon nozzle.
- We used Master Foods horseradish cream for our tarts. This is not an affiliate post.
Filo Tart Shells
The filo pastry tart shells are surprisingly easy to make. We used two six-hole silicone muffin trays for ours and weighted the top tray with a baking dish. You don’t need to weigh down the top tray if you are using metal muffin trays, or if you’d like a bit of space between the layers of filo. We discovered this by trial and error!
When working with filo you need to work fast. Don’t allow the pastry sheets to dry out.
Beetroot Walnut Tarts
- Syphon see notes
- 2 Cream chargers for syphon
- 2 Identical 12-hole, medium size muffin trays or 2 6-hole muffin trays
- 6 sheets filo pastry
- olive oil spray
- flaky salt
- 250 g walnuts
- 10 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 100 g white onions or shallots finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic (large) minced
- 200 ml dry white wine
- 300 ml heavy cream
- 1 bay leaf
- salt & pepper
- 15 g xanthan gun
- crème fraîche
- Pickled beetroot
- Store-bought horseradish cream
- Fresh dill
- Edible flowers optional
For the tart shells
- Preheat oven to 160°c. Place a sheet of filo on a flat surface and spray lightly with oil. Repeat until you have created 3 layers. Do the same with remaining sheets until you have two triple stacks of filo.
- Cut the filo into 12 rounds with a circular biscuit cutter. Place the rounds on the top of an upside-down muffin tray, spray again with oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Place a second identical muffin tray on top of the pastry and press together firmly to create thin tart shells, or leave a little space to allow filo to expand and create puffy shells.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and gently lift the top tin away from the pastry. Allow shells to cool slightly before removing them from the bottom tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. When cool, the shells can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
For the walnut cream
- Place syphon in refrigerator to chill. Simmer walnuts in water for 30 minutes to soften. Drain the walnuts and chop roughly. Pan fry on a medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until aromatic.
- Meanwhile, rinse porcini mushrooms in hot water to remove any dirt, then cover with 100ml boiling water to soften. Add onion and garlic to pan with walnuts and fry until the onion is golden.
- Deglaze pan with wine and season with salt and pepper. Add bay leaf, and porcinis including their soaking water and simmer gently for 20 minutes, adding water if it begins to dry out.
- Add cream to the pan and remove bay leaf. Stir gently over a low heat for 5 minutes. Remove and blend in batches until silky smooth and creamy. Pass through a sieve to ensure there are no lumps. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Return mixture to rinsed-out saucepan and add 15g xanthan gum and stir gently over a low heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Pour the mixture into syphon and charge twice with cream chargers.
To assemble the tarts
- Place a small spoonful of crème fraîche on each serving plate to anchor the tarts. Place a tart shell on each plate.
- Hold syphon upside down and shake aggressively for 3 to 5 minutes. Aim nozzle into a tart shell and depress the handle gently to release the mousse. Repeat with remaining tarts.
- Top each tart with a well-drained pinch of shredded pickled beetroot. Place ¼ to ½ teaspoon of horseradish cream on top of the beetroot. Garnish with small sprigs of dill and edible flowers if desired.
If you make these beetroot walnut tarts, let us know in the comments section below. Happy cooking