These cute mini phyllo tarts filled with cream cheese and homemade cranberry-pepper jam are the perfect one-bite Christmas party appetizers. Plus, it takes just 10 minutes to make them!
Party appetizers are the one department that I constantly struggle with. Cheese and fruit platters simply do not cut it in an Indian gathering. Even a cursory glance at the appetizer section of an Indian menu card will tell you that we like more substantial finger foods like pakore, samosas, keema cutlets, skewers of grilled tikka chicken or fish, and such. All these dishes, while delicious, do need some effort to be made fresh and served hot, which is hard if you are feeding a crowd. Many times, I simply omit appetizers entirely.
But nowadays, there are many shortcuts available. You can get creative with pre-baked tart shells, mini pie crusts or wonton cups. A little imagination is all you need. Fill them with fruits for sweet appetizers or a meat mixture for savory.
For our Indo-American Thanksgiving meal this year, I went with these bite-sized phyllo tart shells filled with cream cheese and my cranberry pepper jam. It is savory, lightly sweet with a hint of spice from the peppers and works brilliantly with any kind of cuisine.
And, most importantly, it barely takes any time to put together. A quick pop in the oven to soften the cream cheese is all it takes. The recipe is so simple that you can put the kids to work filling up the cups with cheese or topping them with jam/jelly.
These one-bite tarts can be topped with sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary for an even more festive look.
This is a Holiday party appetizer recipe, but the idea can be adapted for any event. For summer parties, use raspberry or blueberry sauce. Pineapple and mango jam would pair nicely with the cream cheese too. Be creative and play around with what you like!
But for Christmas, the red, white and green combination works perfectly. How festive!!
These mini appetizers are the perfect combination of flavor and texture. The crunchy phyllo paired with the creamy cheese and sweet jam makes for a delightful mouthful. Make sure to make extra tarts!
Read on for the super simple, three-ingredient recipe.
- Mini Phyllo Tarts - 1 pack, 15 numbers
- Cream cheese - 4 oz
- Cranberry Pepper Jam - 5-6 tbsp (see recipe link below)
- Thyme - a few sprigs (or rosemary)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F.
- Line the tart cups in a baking tray or cookie sheet. Divide the cream cheese among the tart cups. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Using a spoon, gently smooth the softened cheese in the cups. Top each tart with 1 tsp of cranberry jam. Decorate with fresh thyme or rosemary. Serve immediately.
2. This recipe is easily scaled up.
Cranberry Pepper Jam recipe can be found here.
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Have you made these appetizer tarts before? What is you go-to recipe for large gatherings? Do share.
Want more Holiday recipes? Check out this page for all recipes under #ChristmasRecipeSeries.
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