Stilton, fig and walnut tartlets

Stilton, fig and walnut tartlets

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Makes
24 small tartlets
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Larger than canapés, these small tarts are ideal to serve with drinks before dinner, perhaps in place of a plated starter. Use a different blue cheese if you prefer. You will need two 12-hole shallow bun tins.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the walnut pastry

Quantity Ingredient
120g shelled walnuts
250g plain flour
pinch salt
120g chilled butter
1 egg

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
4 eggs
2 extra yolks
275ml double cream
125g greek yoghurt
8 semi-dried figs
200g stilton cheese
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. For the pastry, put the walnuts in a food processor and blend until evenly and finely ground, but still with a little texture. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the ground walnuts.
  2. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Add half the beaten egg to the walnut pastry mixture and mix well using a cutlery knife. Add more egg as necessary, until the pastry starts to come together in large flakes.
  3. Using your fingertips, bring the pastry together. Shape into a fat sausage, roughly the same diameter as the tops of your shallow bun tray holes. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge.
  4. To make the filling, break the whole eggs and yolks into a large bowl and beat together using a fork to break them up. Whisk in the cream and yoghurt until evenly combined, and season well with salt and pepper.
  5. Chop the figs into 1cm pieces and crumble the Stilton into small pieces.
  6. Remove the pastry from the fridge and slice off thin discs, 3mm thick. Use the discs to line the bun trays, pressing them into the edges and patching together where necessary to give a fairly even result. Try to ensure the pastry is no thicker than 3mm. Trim any excess from the edges and chill in the fridge or freezer for 15 minutes, or until very cold and firm. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C.
  7. Blind bake the pastry cases for 12–15 minutes until crisp and golden around the edges. A little butter may foam around the edges of the pastry, which is fine. Remove the paper or muffin cases and beans and return to the oven for 2–3 minutes until the base is cooked through and sandy to the touch. Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 150°C.
  8. Allow the pastry cases to cool slightly, then pour in the custard mixture until three-quarters full. Add the chopped figs and pieces of Stilton.
  9. Return the tarts to the oven and bake until the filling is just set, with a slight wobble in the very centre, about 15 minutes. Remove and cool a little before un-moulding. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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