Special equipment: 8 31/4-inch disposable pie tins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wrap the beets in foil and roast them until they are easily pierced with a knife, about 1 1/2 hours. Allow the beets to cool slightly then peel them using a paring knife. Cut off the stem and root end of each beet, leaving each with 2 flat sides. Slice the beets in half horizontally creating 8 disks. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, punch out a circle from each half. Set aside the 8 beet circles.
Turn the oven up to 425 degrees F.
Roll out the pastry very slightly so that it is an even thickness. Cut the pastry into 8 (3 1/4-inch) rounds. Wrap the rounds in plastic and chill well.
Prepare the caramel (see Cook's Note below). Place the pie tins on a large baking sheet. Combine the butter and sugar in a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan. Melt the mixture over high heat. Cook the caramel until it is almost chestnut brown then remove it from the heat. Quickly but very carefully ladle or pour enough hot caramel into each pie tin to just cover the bottom. Allow the caramel to cool and harden.
Slice each beet round diagonally 3 or 4 times and divide the slices between the tart tins. Cover each tin with a round of puff pastry.
Bake the tarts in the oven until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the tarts from the oven and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes (the caramel should still be hot and soft but not molten¿if it cools too long just reheat the tarts long enough to melt the caramel). Carefully turn out each tart onto a plate, letting the juice and caramel run onto the plate. The pastry should be on the bottom and the red beet on top. Serve warm, garnishing each plate with a quenelle of goat cheese or Herbed Chevre.
Cook's note: Making the caramel for the bottom of the tart pans is a dangerous process. The caramel gets very hot and can cause serious burns. Be careful! To clean caramel-coated pots and spoons: Boil water in the pot and submerge spoons and ladles. The caramel will soften and is then easy to wash away. Again, be careful.
*Available at gourmet stores
Combine the chevre, shallots, garlic, truffle oil, and olive oil in a food processor or mixer. Pulse or mix just until the ingredients are combined. By hand, fold in the mixed herbs. Transfer the cheese to a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to use.*
*Mixing too much will cause the structure of the cheese to break down.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Peter Platt and the Old Inn on the Green