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ENTERTAINING

Here are the mix-n-match lists of tart toppings and crusts to accompany the Entertaining column on page 1D. Also below are the recipes for the two tarts pictured on 1D.CRUSTS

Whole wheat or traditional pie dough

Tortillas

Puff pastry (buy it frozen)

Large round breads (dark or white)

Pizza dough

Phyllo dough

Cookie dough

Nut crust

Crushed gingersnaps, grahams, chocolate wafers or other cookies

APPETIZER

TOPPINGS

Mozzarella, fontina, Gruyere, chevre or your favorite cheese

Spiced sausages or salamis

Circles of chicken, egg or seafood salad

Fresh sliced or baby vegetables

Slivers of melon, alternating with peppered ham or smoked salmon

Marinated or pickled vegetables

Caviar

Smoked oysters, salmon or trout

Guacamole

Ricotta cheese

Cream cheese

Olives, capers and chutneys

Shredded sharp cheese

Creme fraiche or sour cream

Tomato or marinara sauces

Sliced meats

Canned fish (tuna, sardines, salmon, anchovies)

Salmon or trout mousse

DESSERT

TOPPINGS

Cream or ricotta cheese

Liqueur- or jam-flavored cream, or ricotta cheese

Sliced fresh fruits of the season

Traditional homemade or canned pie fillings

Whipped cream

Ice cream or frozen yogurt

Berries

Chocolate, in any form

Vanilla custard

Fruit purees

Melted fruit preserves as a glaze

Nuts

Shredded coconut

Appetizer Tart

Buy a large round, dark bread, cut it horizontally and remove the crust. The bread is topped with a layer of sour cream flavored with { teaspoon of onion juice. The top layer is comprised of alternating circles of red or black caviar, marinated cucumber and egg or seafood salad. The tart is served in wedges.

(Note: Drain excess liquid from the caviar and cucumbers before you put them on the sour cream layers. Also, you don't need the very expensive caviar for this kind of recipe.)

Substitutions: Try chopped, cooked eggplant in place of caviar with alternating circles of chicken salad, chopped apples and walnuts. Garnish with capers.

Dessert Tart

I love pear tarts, and they really are so easy to make. If you make your own crust, add a pinch of ground cloves to the dough and { teaspoon of lemon or orange zest. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt { cup orange, apricot or raspberry preserves with 2 tablespoons of orange liqueur. Brush 2 tablespoons of mixture over the bottom and sides of a baked, 10-inch tart shell. Reserve remainder of mixture. Mix { cup of sugar and { cup of ground pecans, almonds or walnuts with 1 tablespoon of flour and sprinkle over preserve glaze. Peel, halve and core 9 pears and slice them thinly. Arrange sliced halves in a circle (round side up) over nut filling. Bake in a preheated, 375-degree oven for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining warm glaze. Best served at room temperature.

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