These tartlets, with a not-too-sweet cheese base, juicy fruit, and crunchy crust, are so good that even dessert skeptics will eat them with relish. You can use nectarines, peaches, or thinly sliced apples in place of the plums. Serve each with a scoop of ice cream or gelato.
Plum Tartlets with Ginger and Chèvre
1 sheet (1⁄2 package) frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
All-purpose flour for dusting
1⁄4 lb. soft goat cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 Tbs. sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. minced crystallized ginger
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
3 to 4 plums, pitted and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold the sheet of puff pastry. On a lightly floured work surface, roll it out into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle about 1⁄8 inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut the pastry into 6 squares, about 31⁄2 inches each. Transfer the squares to the prepared baking sheet. Pinch the edges up to form a generous 1⁄2-inch rim. Place the pastry in the freezer for 15 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the cheese, 1⁄2 cup sugar, egg, cream, crystallized ginger, and ground ginger to form a smooth paste. Spread evenly over the bottom of the pastry squares. Arrange the plum slices in an attractive pattern on top. Sprinkle 1–2 tablespoons sugar evenly over the plums.
Bake until the pastry is puffed and browned and the plums are soft and slightly golden, about 30 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the tartlets to individual plates. Serve warm. Serves 6.