Fig & Blue Cheese Tart

July 28, 2014

TartA delicious recipe mixing the sweetness of figs with the rich flavour of your favourite blue cheese; all of the ingredients can be purchased fresh from Leicester Market. Visit one of our colourful fruit and veg stalls for the figs, whilst Sherwin’s Cheese in our Food Hall have a range of cheeses.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)
200g plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling pastry
100g plain wholemeal flour
175g cold butter, 150g diced into chunks
100g walnuts, roughly chopped in a food processor
3 eggs, plus 2 yolks
400g shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, plus extra to decorate
200ml pot crème fraîche
200ml double cream
140g blue cheese (Danish blue is a great choice, but works well with all)
3-4 figs, halved, sides brushed with a little oil

First make the pastry. Tip the flours into a food processor with half-a-teaspoon of salt and the diced butter. Pulse until you can’t feel any lumps and then tip in the walnuts. Mix the egg yolks with 3 tablespoons of cold water and dribble this into the machine while you pulse again until the pastry comes together. Tip the pastry out onto a floured surface, lightly bring it together into a ball, then 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 hour.

To make the filling, melt the remaining butter in a large pan, then add the shallots and soften for 10-15 minutes, until golden and squishy. Stir in the thyme for 1 minute – 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. Blind bake the pastry for 20 minutes before removing the baking beans and paper. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes 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 1hour to 1hr 10 minutes until the tart is browning and has a slight wobble – the cheese middle will firm up on sitting. Cool for about 15-20 minutes, then remove from tin and serve with a green salad.