Garlic Cream Tartlets with Jamón

Inspired by Jean-Baptiste Depons

Yes of course I have tried roasting the garlic whole and indolently squeezing out the pulp, but the results are just too Draculacidal for the other ingredients. Sorry folks!

Garlic Cream Tartlets with Jamón

Break two heads of garlic into cloves and peel them, Put in a pan of cold water and when it comes to the boil, drain and repeat the operation twice. Simmer the cloves in 500ml crème fraîche for 25 minutes, or until they are very soft, then transfer them to a bowl and mash with half the warm cream, adding the rest gradually, tasting as you go, until thick and garlicky enough for your taste. A pinch of smoked paprika in the cream is a nice optional touch, or for an authentic Basque nip, try the region's Espelette pepper which has a bracing, but not burning chilli flavour.

Use this mixture to fill 12-15 ready-baked mini-tarts or vol-au-vent cases and top each with a snippet of premium jamón or any other good cured ham and chill until needed. Decorate with parsley or dill at the last minute.

> Serve with a glass of Sauternes or Barsac.

Janet Wynne Evans

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