Now I don't like cooked cheese, and I particularly don't like blue cheese, so I was really making this for family rather than for myself to eat.
The pastry is a very short one, with chopped walnuts included to give an extra flavour. I did deviate from the recipe, only using 200g plain flour and no wholemeal flour, though I added more flour when rolling out to get the correct consistency in the dough. This left me with a really short and melt in the mouth pastry that I was very pleased with indeed.
Tthe filling has shallots, creme fraiche, double cream and blue cheese(I used Stilton).
Although the recipe takes a while to make it is actually quite simple if you are patient. As I made the pastry and baked it blind I placed a baking tray on the shelf below the tart tin. This caught the excess pastry as it dropped off and I was able to eat that separately, before baking the tart. I must say the pastry was delicious and very crumbly, melting in the mouth.
The aroma emanating from the oven during baking was wonderful and made my wonder why I don't like cooked cheese. It was duly delivered to my sister for her to enjoy and the report that just arrived on my phone said "Yum Yum tart.
You can taste the cheese strongly and it works so well with the sweetness of the figs".
So it seems that the recipe has worked very well indeed.
In the video below I forgot, for the pastry element, to turn my microphone on, so I have included text directions to cover that part. I will try to do better next time.
Blue Cheese & Fig Tart
Blue Cheese & Fig Tart - Video
- 200g plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling pastry
- 175g cold butter 150g diced into chunks
- 100g walnut roughly chopped in a food processor
- 3 eggs, plus 2 yolks
- 400g shallots
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme-leaves, plus extra to decorate
- 200ml crème fraîche
- 200ml double cream
- 140g blue cheese
- 3-4 figs, halved, cut sides brushed with a little oil
- Tip the flour into a food processor with ½ tsp salt and the diced butter.
- Pulse until you can’t feel any lumps, then tip in the walnuts and pulse to combine.
- Mix the egg yolks with 3 tbsp cold water, then dribble this into the machine while you pulse again until the pastry comes together, you may not need all the liquid.
- Tip the pastry out onto a floured surface, lightly bring it together into a ball, adding a little more flour if the mixture seems too wet.
- Roll out and line a deep 20-23cm tart tin with overhang. The pastry may crack, but just patch it back together, then cover and chill for 1 hr.
- To make the filling, melt the remaining butter in a large pan, then add the shallots and soften for 10-15 mins, until golden and squishy.
- Stir in the thyme for 1 min, then remove from the heat.
- Beat the eggs in a jug with the crème fraîche and cream.
- Crumble in the cheese and season with pepper and a small amount of salt.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6/400F.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and line with baking parchment.
- Pour in baking beans and blind bake the pastry for 20 mins, remove the baking beans and paper, then bake for a further 15-20 mins until golden and sandy.
- Reduce the oven temp to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Add the cooled onions to the cream mixture and pour into the case. Sit the fig halves on top, cut side up, sprinkle with some more thyme and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr-1hr 10 mins until the tart is browning and has a slight wobble – the cheese middle will firm up on sitting. Cool for about 15-20 mins, then remove from tin and serve with a green salad.