A lovely savory tart using a walnut pastry shell filled with fresh figs, crumbly blue mold cheese and thyme-infused shallots. A slice of this is the ideal vegetarian supper for cold and moody days. It tastes crunchy and creamy and multi-textured.
This is sort of a posh-ed up version of a quiche. As if it would need more posh :). You can feel every bit of detail and hint - starting with the little seeds inside the figs and finishing with the touch of thyme. All in all - definitely worth the time required to make it.
Recipe source: here.
Last year: Duck eggs with broccoli and prosciutto.
Two years ago: Scottish cardamom griddle scones with butter and honey.
Ingredients (for a 23 cm springform tin):
- 200 g plain flour
- 100 g wholemeal flour
- 150 g cold butter, cubed
- 25 g butter, whole
- 100 g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons of cold water (15 ml)
- 400 g shallots
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra to decorate
- 200 ml creme fraiche
- 200 ml double cream
- 140 g blue cheese
- 3-4 fresh figs
- 1 teaspoon oil for brushing the figs
- some salt and pepper to taste
Roughly chop the walnuts, by hand or in a food processor.
Tip both the flours in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Add the butter cubes:
Mix it with your hands until it all resembles breadcrumbs. Add the walnuts:
Also add the egg yolks and about 3 tablespoons cold water. Mix everything together into an even pastry, roll it and press it into the bottom and the sides of a 23 cm (9 inch) baking tin.
Put the tin in the fridge for at least one hour. Melt the remaining 25 g of butter in a pan and get the shallots and figs in the meantime.
Peel and finely chop the shallots and fry them in the melted butter:
Keep them frying on low heat until softened and golden. Stir in the thyme and cook for one more minute, then remove from the heat:
Beat the eggs with the creme fraiche and the cream. Crumble the blue cheese in it too:
Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. After the pastry is chilled enough, preheat oven to 200 degrees C and bake it for 20 minutes blindly, then for another 15-20 minutes normally. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool a bit:
Transfer the fried shallots in the pastry. Carefully spoon the cheese and cream mixture over them. Cut the figs in half and brush the cut side with a little oil. Gently fix them, cut side up, in the tart. Sprinkle generously with extra thyme.
Lower the oven's temperature to 180 degrees C and put the tart in. Bake it for 1 hour - 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until nicely browned, while the middle only retains a slight wobble.
Let it cool a bit, then transfer to a serving platter. Slice and arrange on serving plates. It's done, dig in! :)