I love summer just as much as everyone else but if I was to nail it down to a few reasons why, it always comes down to food. Summer means longer nights and happier kids. Summer means cooking outdoors and tasting foods you might not get in winter, and summer also means picnics!
I love packing up a cooler and heading for the beach or to see a concert in the park. Inside that cooler will be some wine, fresh fruit, a hodgepodge of cured meats and of course cheese. Another favorite thing to take are these mini custard tarts which I think taste better at room temperature rather than hot from the oven. Because custard tarts are so easy to make and travel with, they’re the perfect picnic snack. All you need are eggs and cream for the basic mix, I added some red onions, roasted red pepper strips and finished them off with a good sprinkling of Cacique® Ranchero® Queso Fresco. The cheese melts right into the egg when they’re baking in the oven creating a great flavor with the onion and pepper.
I love to eat these mini tarts with a green salad on the side and a dollop of bacon and caramelized onion Crema Salvadorena on top. The crema adds some creaminess to the custard tarts and can actually be used on it’s own as a dip, so you may want to pack some of your favorite chips in the picnic basket! My advice for creating the perfect picnic is to keep things simple and finger food style. Use small plates for easier eating sizes and don’t forget something to sit on!
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WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 pack pre-made pie pastry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small red onion diced finely
- 1/2 red pepper, roasted and peeled
- 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 2 eggs
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup Cacique® Ranchero® Queso Fresco
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 1/4 cup Cacique® Crema Salvadorena
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup of the reserved caramelized onions
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 6 individual 4 inch tart shells with a non-stick spray. Roll out the pastry until about 1/4 inch thick. Take a tart shell and place it on the dough. Cut about 1/2 inch around it in a circle. Line each tart shell with a circle of the dough pressing it in to form the shape.
- Poke the base of each tart shell with a fork to prevent the pastry bubbling up during baking. You may have to do this again halfway through baking. Place all of the tart shells on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes and golden brown. While the tart shells are baking, heat the olive oil in a small pan and cook the onions on a low heat until they start to turn brown, about 10-15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the onions for the dip later.
- Slice the roasted pepper into thin strips. In a bowl, whisk the cream, eggs, salt, pepper and garlic. Once the tart shells are baked, place some of the onions on the bottom followed by some red pepper strips.
- Carefully pour the egg mixture over the onions and pepper and fill the shells until almost at the top. Sprinkle the Ranchero® Queso Fresco on top of the egg and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes and the top turns slightly golden brown. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- For the Bacon and Onion Crema - Mix Crema Salvadorena, garlic powder, bacon, and caramelized onions in a bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use.