As you definitely know, this past weekend was the premiere of the much anticipated film adaptation of the classic Spark Notes novel, The Great Gatsby. Everyone has been talking about it; I mean, Leo is in it, so you know it’s gonna be a blockbuster. That guy is such a gem. Can we just take a second?
Call your doctor if that gif did not put you in a trance for more than two hours. You are broken.
Sadly, the non-Leo portions of the film didn’t really do it for me. The first half was pretty boring and poorly acted (I have Tobey Maguire issues that go back to the 90s), though the latter, more Leo-centric half, was actually very enthralling.
I think what intrigued people the most about this movie, though, was they style of it- not the substance. The lavish parties (like, ragers, honestly) and glitzy attire of the Roaring 20s played the leading role here. You know the really fun “flapper” costume you threw up on at that Halloween party your freshman year of college? Those were based off of this movie.
One of my longtime BFFs runs the super cool fashion blog, The Chic Burrow, and Gatsby gave us a perfect opportunity to join blog forces. She is much more of a trend-setter than myself; so she took charge of the wardrobe and I took charge of the eats. We had a lovely afternoon of dressing up, cooking, sipping champagne, and taking pictures along the way to show our other friends (and the internet) just how glamorous we are.
Do I remind you of a young Leo DiCaprio? Yeah, not so much. But it did give me an opportunity to catch up with an old friend, and, more importantly (sorry Haley), to make these insanely addictive puff pastry tarts.
I came up with this recipe because I was catering a party earlier this week and needed to come up with three appetizers to serve. I already had two very savory bites, and I wanted to have a third one that was sort of dessert-y without being an actual dessert. I had my epiphany while strolling through the cheese aisle of Costco (where so many epiphanies happen), and seeing the wheels of brie. I thought about an appetizer I make a lot during the holidays which I’m sure you are familiar with- that wheel of brie baked inside a sheet of puff pastry. It’s elegant. It’s decadent. It impresses a crowd. Best of all, it’s freaking easy. So I thought- why not make that into bite size form? Needless to say, they were kind of a big deal at the party.
This entire recipe takes about 20 minutes, so it’s perfect for your next elegant, Gatsby-style extravaganza. Although, I didn’t really see them eat in that movie, I think they mostly just poured champagne all over each other and danced in seas of glitter and confetti. Did you know they had glitter and confetti in the 1920s? Also, did you know they had Beyonce and Jay Z back then too? So cool. I love learning about history.
You start by using a cookie cutter to cut little rounds of puff pastry dough onto a prepared baking sheet and throw them in the oven for about ten minutes, until they start to puff up.
While those are in the oven, toast up some chopped pecans with some butter, brown sugar, and salt.
Now start the assembly line. Spread a thin layer of apricot preserves, followed by a spoonful of the pecan mixture, and top it all off with a little piece of brie.
Bake for another five minutes until cheese is melted. (NOTE: These ones didn’t actually puff up enough because when we first made them I didn’t have the cooking time and temperature correct yet. They tasted fantastic regardless, but the picture after this is a better indicator of how they should look.)
Now eat up, old sport.
For more detaila on the clothes we were wearing here and for general fashion awesome-ness, check out The Chic Burrow!
Puff Pastry Tarts with Apricot, Pecan, and Brie
Makes: about 20 tarts
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 small wheel of brie, cut into small bite size pieces
1/4 cup apricot preserves
4 oz. pecans, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry dough lightly. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles off the dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until puffed up and slightly browned.
While these are baking, make the pecan mix. In a saute pan over medium heat, melt butter and toss in chopped pecans. Add brown sugar and salt and stir, allowing to toast for about 3 minutes. Pull the tarts out of the oven and allow them to cool slightly. (Note: some of them may get VERY puffed up; that is fine- just push them down a bit when you are putting the other ingredients on top.)
Top each tart with a bit of apricot preserve, followed by a small spoonful of the pecan mixture, and finally a piece of brie. Put back in the oven for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.