When it comes to culinary representations of the U.S. flag, you’ll come across many sweet recipes before you come across any savory ones. Whether sweet or savory, naturally blue-colored food is actually pretty hard to find. For desserts, blueberries are the go-to for blue color, but what if you are going for a saltier taste?
Just when I was going to pass up on the savory flag tart idea, I remembered the yummy bag of indigo-blue corn tortilla chips that I had enjoyed with hummus a few weeks ago. Aside from the rustic and unusual color of blue corn tortilla chips, they also taste amazing, and have a pleasant grittiness about them. For a flag tart recipe that’s supposed to celebrate America, it’s an added bonus that blue corn is cultivated in the Southwestern U.S. where it’s a staple of Native American cuisine.
The red and white ingredients of this tart were much easier for me to select. For the red stripes, tomato paste is perfect because not only because of it’s vibrant color and flavor, but also because it’s super easy to use. Finally, some creamy, soft Neuchâtel cheese creates a white base for these tarts. Mixed with parmesan and a few neutral-colored flavorings, it’s again easy to use and also easy to find.
Don’t let the savory variation throw you off…decorate these tartlets in the same way that would decorate sugar cookies. A few sweeps of thick, flavored cream cheese and some piped tomato paste and you’re almost done. The last tip to create a pretty tartlet is to use some small scraps of foil to help guide where the crumbled blue corn chips fall.
Whether you are American or not, I hope that you have a wonderful July 4th this year! You can’t go wrong enjoying these tartlets with some Yanabah Navajo Tea or Summertime Sun Tea. And if you are wondering how you might create a tartlet to honor the flag of a different country, leave me a comment! I’m always up for celebrating another country’s flag in a decorating challenge!
American Flag Tartlets
Makes 12 tartlets.
1- 8 oz package Neuchâtel cream cheese @ room temperature
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1- 6 oz can or tube of tomato paste
1/2 cup blue corn tortilla chips
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed (I used Pepperidge Farms brand)
paring knife or pizza cutter
2 large baking sheets
sheet of parchment
zip top bag
rolling pin or heavy pan
pastry bag fitted with #4 pastry tip
small pieces of foil, folded into 2- 2″ x 1″ small rectangles
1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scatter some flour on a work surface and lay the puff pastry sheet on it. Cut the sheet into 12 equal rectangular pieces, then place them on a baking sheet fitted with parchment. Before baking, let the cut puff pastry chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes to re-harden.
2.) Run some cold water over the bottom of one of the baking sheets, then shake off excess water. Place this baking sheet directly on top of the now-chilled puff pastry sheets. Apply some pressure on the top pan to compact it against the pastry pieces below. Bake the puff pastry for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown. Remove the pans from the oven, then let the pastry cool completely.
3.) Place the chips in a large zip top bag, seal, and smash them into small crumbles using a rolling pin.
4.) Mix the cream cheese, parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, and lemon juice together.
5.) Place tomato paste in the pastry bag.
6.) Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on the pastry rectangles, cleaning the sides of the tart if necessary. Score a small rectangle in the corner of the pastry where the flag’s blue/star part will be.
7.) Pipe 7 red lines lengthwise (3 short, 4 long) on the tart then fill the small rectangular corner of the flag tart with the crumbled blue corn chips using some small pieces of foil as a guide. Gently press the crumbles into the cheese to adhere them to the surface. Remove the foil pieces and you’re done!