Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust

Oat and walnut tart crusts filled with creamy blackberry and topped with ginger peanut brittle.

With true spring happening (where you can store your winter coat with confidence), I’m loving delicate, mini-food. Little dishes that let spring flavors shine. The kind of foods you can pass around as you languidly lounge in the garden with a giant bottle of rosè in the kind of outfit you definitely would need to iron.  Or maybe a bridal shower or baby shower. Or cat shower? Should we make those a thing? Some kind of event along those lines. These mini blackberry ‘cheesecakes’ with oat and walnut crusts are a good make ahead dessert that have well balanced flavors with the pretty factor. Cat shower or not. 

 Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust

Typically my biggest gripe with delicate foods that pop up every April is they’re usually too sweet or too one-note-boring. Sometimes little foods are only made for the cute vibes. This recipe is any thing but boring. With these tarts, the crust is nutty with toasted walnuts and only lightly sweetened with some brown sugar. The filling is pure and simple ingredient Blackberry siggi’s which, because it’s lower in sugar and high in protein, makes the perfect creamy filling. You taste blackberry, not straight up sugar like most yogurts. On top, we’ve got ginger peanut brittle that is now a staple in our house (all peanut brittle should have intense ginger) and also some fresh blackberries dusted with rosemary salt.This little bit of herbal salt pulls in some outdoorsy aromas and enhances the other flavors.

 Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust
 Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust

The oat and walnut crust that has become my go-to recipe for tarts. I’m really proud of that recipe since it has become so versatile for me. The tart shells actually hold their shape making them beautiful for a cake stand or platter (and to walk around with if you want). They’re great to make a day in advance and fill a few hours ahead of serving. 

I know some of you will look at this recipe and think ‘no way am I making peanut brittle’ or ‘no way am I making herb salt’ but like with all of our recipes, there is a reason they’re here. We tried these tarts with and without each component and while the tarts are cute and good without peanut brittle or herb salt, together they make it elevated and balanced. But because I really do like you and I can see your brain working out how to take a short cut, if you don’t want to make peanut brittle you can buy it, or at the very least, chop up some roasted honey salted peanuts on top. 

 Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust
 Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust
 Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust
 Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust
 Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust

Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 containers of 2% Blackberry siggi’s
  • 6 fresh blackberries
  • a few small fresh basil leaves
  • edible flowers
  • walnut oat crust *recipe below
  • ginger peanut brittle *recipe below
  • rosemary salt *recipe below

OAT CRUST

  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup rolled old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  1. To make oat crust, toast walnuts on a baking sheet at 325 F for 10 minutes. 
  2. Once walnuts are done, in a food processor pulse toasted walnuts with flour and sugar until crumbly and in small pieces. 
  3. Add egg and butter and pulse until it comes together. It should feel moist and stick together when pinched. 
  4. Spray regular sized muffin tins with baking spray and cut thin strips of parchment for easy removal after baking (see picture). 
  5. Use 2 1/2 Tablespoons of crust in each of the 6 muffin tins forming a base and side walls. 
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes. 
  7. Cool.

PEANUT BRITTLE 

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 pound lightly salted peanuts (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 inch grated fresh ginger
  1. In a small dish, mix 1/2 teaspoon water, baking soda and vanilla. Set aside. 
  2. In a small saucepan mix 1 cup water, sugar and corn syrup. Stir with a spoon and heat over medium. Bring to 240 F on a thermometer. 
  3. Add butter and peanuts to saucepan, stir constantly and bring to 300 F. DO NOT BURN or you will need to start over. 
  4. Once mixture reaches 300 F, stir in baking soda mix which will make peanut brittle foamy and light. 
  5. Pour immediately onto parchment paper on baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. 
  6. Grate ginger on top and distribute evenly.
  7. Cool for at least an hour. To expedite process, freeze. 
  8. Break into shards. 

HERB SALT

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a f ew cracks black pepper
  1. Add to a mortar and pestle. Grind to a fine powder. 

    DIRECTIONS To Make Tarts: 

    1. Fill a piping bag or use a spoon to add siggi’s blackberry yogurt to each tart shell. You can refrigerate now for several hours or serve immediately.
    2. Top with a shard of peanut brittle and a blackberry rolled in herb salt. Alternatively, herb salt can be lightly sprinkled over the top of the yogurt.
    3. Garnish with basil and/or edible flowers. 
     Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust
    MINI BLACKBERRY CHEESECAKE TARTS WITH WALNUT CRUST
     Mini Blackberry Cheesecake Tarts with Walnut Crust

    Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.