11/08/2013

Blue Cheese Tart with Cranberry Chutney

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I didn't want the week to go by without sharing one of the Sunday dinner recipes.  I'll start with the appetizer and save the dessert for another Sunday ( I just need to tweak it a bit).

With the holidays around the corner, this would be a lovely starter, appetizer, or amuse bouche to start the festivities.  I love this recipe for the fact that you bake a whole rectangular tart and then cut it into little squares.  No fussing with little tart pans or mini muffin cups.  And we all need those little shortcuts during the holiday rush.

The original recipe called for Stilton, but I find that a rather assertive flavor for a tart.  (Save that pricey Stilton wedge for a nice cheese board instead.) I use a quality, creamy blue cheese instead. I recommend using a block form and crumbling it yourself because the pre-crumbled can taste rather off and it is a bit salty.  The cranberry chutney is a wonderful pairing with the pungent flavor of the blue cheese, but with the holidays in mind, I swapped out the ginger in the recipe and use chopped fresh rosemary.  The flavors really blend well together.  Of course it is best served the day that it is made, but with a busy weekend last week, I made the tart the day before and reheated it in the oven just until warmed the next day.  It worked out perfect and it is quite delicious.  The chutney might be a nice addition to go with your holiday bird as well.
Printable Recipe

Blue Cheese Tart with Cranberry Chutney
makes 32-38 bite size pieces

For the Tart Dough
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
6 Tablespoons (3-ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 Tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 4 Tablespoons ice water

For the Filling
1 cup heavy cream
1 extra large egg
2 extra large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces quality blue cheese, crumbled

Accompaniment
Cranberry Chutney; recipe follows

In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the flour butter, shortening, and salt just until the mixture resembles pea-size meal.  Drizzle 3 tablespoons of water over the flour mixture and pulse until incorporated.  Squeeze a handful of dough together.  If it doesn't hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time until incorporated.

Turn dough out on to a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the corners of the plastic wrap, bring the dough together into a small rectangle.  Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface into a 17- x 8- inch rectangle.  Fit the dough into a 13 1/2 x 4 x 1- inch fluted rectangle tart pan with removable bottom. Trim excess overhang and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Lightly prick the bottom and the sides of the tart shell with a fork.  Line the shell with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake until sides of the tart are set and edges are golden, about 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and weights and bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Reduce the oven temp to 325º F.

For the Filling
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, yolks, salt, and pepper until combined.  Place tart shell on a baking sheet and scatter cheese over the bottom of the shell.  Slowly pour cream mixture into the shell. Bake until the filling is golden and puffed, about 30-35 minutes.  Cool tart completely on a wire rack.

Cut tart into 32-38 pieces and serve topped with chutney.  Enjoy!

Cranberry Chutney
makes about 2 cups

1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 (12-ounce) bag of fresh cranberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries have popped and the shallots have softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Let cool.  The chutney can be made up to one week ahead and refrigerated, covered.

Source: Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook, edited by Ruth Reichl

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