Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Clean Plate Club


I found myself thinking about the “Clean Plate Club” today. It was sixth-grade Science Camp and the goal was for your entire table of campers to completely clean their plates to become members of the “club.” My sister recalls people drinking other’s cereal milk for them so the table wouldn’t suffer. Apparently we took this task very seriously.

There was probably a song or catchy mantra to be sung or recited at every meal, but I don’t remember it. The only song I remember from camp is The Banana Slug Song set to the tune of Twist and Shout. Twenty years later, I still sing that song when anyone mentions banana slugs (which happens more often than you might think).

So how does any of this relate to Blackberry Cream Cheese Tarts? It doesn’t really, except that it popped into my head as I was typing this and it made me chuckle to think of a roomful of sixth graders wanting so desperately to be a part of this so-called club. I’m willing to bet that camp was the only week that most of us ever even thought about cleaning our plates.

But enough about Science Camp…here’s the recipe:


Blackberry Cream Cheese Tarts with Pear-Champagne Drizzle

Pear-Champagne Sauce

Makes enough to drizzle over 4 tarts

1 very ripe pear, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup champagne

Simmer pear, sugar and water until no liquid remains, stirring and mashing pears occasionally. When all liquid has reduced, stir in champagne. Reduce champagne until sauce has a thick consistency. Remove from heat and puree in a blender. Reserve.

Blackberry Cream Cheese Tarts

Makes 4 tarts

1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar (or more depending on tartness of blackberries)
1 cup blackberries, plus extra for garnish
1 egg
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
egg wash

Puree first 5 ingredients together in a food processor. (Check if more sugar is needed and add as necessary.)

Cut puff pastry sheet into 4 equal pieces, then roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface to fit your dishes. (You want some to hang over the edges.)

Lay puff pastry into dishes, then pour cream cheese filing into each and brush exposed dough with egg wash. Top with a few blackberries. Bake at 400 degrees for 23-25 minutes, until pastry is cooked through and browned.

Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Just before serving, drizzle pear-champagne sauce over each tart.

A few notes:

The blackberries were fairly tart to begin with and after baking, the whole berries on top seemed to get even more tart. So unless your berries are very sweet, garnishing after baking might be the way to go.

The pastry on the bottom of the tart was a bit tough and hard to cut through. Perhaps I should have kept them in the oven longer (and covered them to keep them from browning more) or rolled the dough out thinner. It’s also possible that my puff pastry had been in the freezer a little long and didn’t crisp up as well as a fresher sheet might have.


The end result? The tarts were a hit…they were yummy and pretty. The richness of the cream cheese filling was cut by the tartness of the blackberries and the pear-champagne drizzle offered just the right amount of sweetness.

And even though a bit of elbow grease was needed to cut through these, it didn’t stop us all from becoming members of that illustrious club that evening.


82 comments:

  1. Delicious!! I have some puff pastry I've been meaning to use in the freezer.. thank you for the idea!

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  2. This looks so easy and yummy. Thanks for sharing!

    Karen-I have an award for you to pick up at my blog. Just pass it on to 15 other bloggers.
    Well deserved, Congratulations!

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  3. It's easy to be part of the clean plate club when this is on your plate. Looks delicious!

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  4. Ok this look amazing and I have puff pastry in the freezer...actually, no it's already out cause this seems the best way to use it up tomorrow.

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  5. Those look really good! I love your pear champagne drizzle. I have blackberries in the freezer I'm saving for Thanksgiving- I'm going to keep this recipe in mind for sure!!

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  6. Love the baby pink color of the cream. Lovely recipe. Love to try it out soon.

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  7. these look great! i love how you placed the puff pastry sheets. tarts are addicting. i made two today (zucchini/mushroom/chevre and apple/chevre). true story.

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  8. These look delicious - what a lovely little dessert!! I always love your posts -- and your photos are so drool-worthy!

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  9. Karen, your pastry pot pie looks absolutely awesome! Those childhood days, we will never forget! It makes me smile. Have a great day, sweetie.
    Kristy

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  10. Looks so delicious and what's best is, it doesn't sound hard at all to make!

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  11. Wow, these look exceptional!!!

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  12. These tarts look great! My friend Alicia has a great blog called The Clean Plate Club...you should check it out - http://www.thecleanplateclubblog.com/

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  13. These look amazing! I love the drizzle on top; it makes them over the top.

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  14. Beautiful tart....and of course, great story!

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  15. That story was hilarious. I painted a picture in my head but couldn't quite figure out the lyrics to how the song would go, haha! These look delicious and the drizzle on top looks so artistic. Bet your sixth grade self would be beaming from the acceptance into the club. Congrats!

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  16. These are awesome! I want to be part of the sixth grade "Clean Plate Club!" Too funny!

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  17. What a cute club! The tart looks delicious! I have never tried blackberries before, would really love to! Hardly seen any being sold over here, and when they do, they are extremely,extremely expensive!

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  18. So, my first thought is; oh darn, what to do with the open bottle of champagne. :) Those look fantastic.

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  19. My husband is a die-hard member of the clean plate club (at 6'7" it takes a lot to fill him up). We are always joking about that.
    I can be pretty certain he would clean the plate of those lovely tarts!!!

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  20. This looks so easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing :-)

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  21. Looks great...it would be a good way to finish up a brunch menu! Noted !:)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  22. This is a beautiful, creamy dessert and the pear champagne drizzle adds a touch of elegance. thanks for sharing.

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  23. WOW! This is gorgeous and looks really really good.

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  24. I think I'd be a member of that club as well, if it involved these lovely tarts. :) They look scrumptious!

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  25. These look so yummy-I may have to attempt making them!

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  26. Awesome. I love the little corners of puff that poking out the sides. Very nice sauce as well. Sometimes it's just so hard to not eat the whole thing isn't it? I must admit, most of the times I don't bother trying. :D

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  27. beautiful the puff pastry in it is looking good

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  28. The color of the cream is outstanding. they look very elegant.

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  29. Hey, How lovely. I personally have never seen anything like this, yummy

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  30. I want to be a part of the "clean plate club"! What a sneaky idea to get kids to eat all of their food. When it comes to competing kids take it very seriously. These look like excellent desserts. I love the final, final results. Would you mind giving me a copy of the lyrics to the banana slug song? It sounds like the perfect annoyance tool to use on my fiance!

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  31. Add me to the list of bloggers who have puff pastry in the freezer waiting to be used, lol! This looks absolutely amazing and I love anything with cream cheese!!

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  32. Not sure why but blogger booted my other comment.

    I didn't become a member of the clean plate club until I started blogging and then I also became a member of the 15 pounds over weight club! :(

    Lovely tart. I can see why the plates came back empty!
    ~ingrid

    btw, thank you for visiting my blog & commenting!

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  33. Looks wonderful. I'd clean that plate too!

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  34. I'd for sure join that club if I had to clean your plates of these amazing tarts!

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  35. I kinda wish I had gone to camp now :) Love the picture of the empty bowl!

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  36. What a great excuse to drink some champagne, because if I must open some up for this dish, I can't let the rest go to waste! What a delicious recipe!

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  37. So funny that certain foods can bring up fun memories...I can see how this would be an easy one for the clean plate club :)
    Looks amazingly delicious and I love the flavor combinations :)

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  38. Oh my goodness that looks delicious!!! I have some raspberries, I think I'll try it with them! Yum!!!

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  39. That looks really yummy, Cute story at least you didn't have to do anything creepy to be part of this club.

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  40. That looks gorgeous, lovely filling. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your lovely comments.
    Glad to follow you :)

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  41. I am going to try this wonderful treat!!
    I will let you know soon:)
    Have a nice week end.
    Barbaraxx

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  42. Wow...this looks super! What a treat! Thnaks for visiting my blog, commenting, and following. Glad to follow you back :)

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  43. Ha! Yeah I think I'd join the clean-plate-club on this one! Just beautiful.

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  44. These look lovely and sounds like a lovely combination, though I wonder if shortcrust pastry might have worked better? Also like the sound of your pear drizzle, it think it would work really well with cider too.

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  45. I have a feeling my brats don't compare to these tasty numbers, beautiful! I loved when my daddy got a deer and we had it for sausage, stew meat, chicken fried. Heaven for the taste buds.

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  46. Gorrrrgeous...as usual:) Sound delicious!

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  47. Good grief those look AMAZING! I so should have not opened this post at breakfast time LOL Now I'm going to be craving this beautiful tarts all day long. Well done!

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  48. My gosh those look fantastic. I think I could pretty much join the clean plate club five or six times over with those ...

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  49. Oh my gosh, these look amazing! I'm definitely saving this recipe. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, yours is great!

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  50. I know I would be in the Clean Plate Club if one of these were placed in front of me! Wow, they look delicious!

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  51. Wow! This looks delicious! I am craving one of these beauties right now. I would be all about these. And I loved hearing about the clean plate club. I'd be all about it with these babies!

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  52. What timing! I had a very ripe pear, a pint of raspberries, *and* puff pastry that needed to become something, fast! I substituted Riesling for the champagne. These were lovely!

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  53. These are gorgeous little tarts! Pass one here please, so I can become a member of the clean plate club!

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  54. My goodness these look heavenly! I don't do enough baking or cooking with blackberries...you remind me that I'm crazy not to!

    Don't you love desserts (and foods in general) that come in their own little single-serving size? These tarts are adorable, and there's nothing more fun than getting to sit down with your own delicious mini-pie for dessert :)

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  55. I loved your story about the clean plate club and the banana slug song! Everything about this dessert sounds amazing. My plate would look just like that last photo--can I be in the club too? :-D

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  56. Yum!! That story about the science camp was hillarious! Thanks for sharing your recipes with us. :)

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  57. hi

    thnx for following my blog. you've a lot in here and i read only this particular post. i'm relieved to find something with champgane!! they look fabulous.

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  58. those look absolutely delightful! Thanks for sharing :)

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  59. What magnificent colors, and I LOVE your photos.

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  60. Yum! I rarely make dessert but this one is inspirational! Definitely going to try! Thanks for sharing!!

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  61. Your tarts are really wonderfull and looks amazing.

    Nice to find you here.
    See you around.

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  62. These look fantastic! I love the idea of a pear-champagne drizzle.

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  63. These look so good! I could happily delve into one right now. Delicious.

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  64. amazing pictures, salivating over here!

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  65. Wow, your tarts look WONderful! I am hungry now! Great photos, seriously mouthwatering!

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  66. I wish my son were a member of that club!!!

    I'd have no problem finishing that tart.

    There is an award for you over on my blog :-}

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  67. What a pretty dish. I just love the color!

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  68. I will clean the plates too...very fresh and yummy :D

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  69. Such an elegant looking dessert..lovely color!

    US Masala

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  70. Haha too funny. I would totally clean my plate if you set this in front of me. Delicious.

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  71. Gorgeous!! Delicious cream cheese tarts.

    simplehomefood.com

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  72. These look as though they belong in a dream. In my dream of them, they taste delicious!

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  73. I'd definitely clean my plate with that!

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  74. Well, we are definitely members of your clean plate club. We thought your Caramel Apple Pies were the best. My husband actually licked his plate.But this time, as he was scrapping his bowl, I quickly rushed into the room to give him the remaining last quarter of my dessert. And he was very happy about that. YUM! This is a keeper.

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  75. Wow... This looks easy enough for me to try! My mouth is watering just looking at your pictures...

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