Make one large tart or several smaller ones for a starter. This is also a good main course for a non-meat eater. Use whichever blue cheese is your favourite for this rich and creamy tart.
- 500g pack ready made pastry or
- 300g plain flour
- 150g butter
- 2 egg yolks
- water to mix
For the filling:
- 100g butter
- 400g shallots, peeled and finely sliced
- fresh thyme leaves
- 3 eggs
- 200ml crème fraiche
- 200ml double cream
- freshly ground pepper
- 140g blue cheese, crumbled– Danish Blue, Stilton, Gorgonzola
- 6 figs cut into slices
- Drizzle of honey, optional
- Salad leaves
- Any remaining pieces of fig
- To make the pastry: Rub the butter into the flour, or use a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg yolks and enough water to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins.
- Roll out the pastry and line a 20-23cm fluted edged tin. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, this will help to reduce shrinkage.
- For the filling: melt the butter and gently sauté the shallots until they are golden and soft, stir in the thyme and remove from the heat.
- Mix the eggs, crème fraiche and cream together in a large jug, season with pepper and mix in the cheese. As the cheese tends to be salty it is unlikely you will need to add any salt.
- Heat the oven 190ºC conventional oven, centre shelf; 180ºC fan oven; gas 5.
- Line the tart with baking parchment and baking beans (raw rice will also work) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is pale golden and set.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC conventional oven, centre shelf; 160ºC fan oven; gas 3-centre shelf. Remove the paper and beans from the tart.
- Place the tart in the tin onto a baking tray (this makes it easier to carry). Put the shallots into the pastry base and carefully pour on the cheese mixture.
- Place the fig slices on top and bake for 1hr or until the tart is golden and still has a slight wobble.
- Serve warm, drizzled with a little honey, salad leaves and any pieces of fig remaining.