Stilton and Pear Tart with Walnut Pastry

stilton-and-pear-tart

I’ve had this recipe flying around in my head for some time. Tangy, creamy Stilton, a couple of the conference pears that are in season right now, and  a thyme scented sauce. I encased everything in this foolproof pastry, which was so unbelievably simple that I was intrigued as to whether it would work. It did, although the pastry was rather crumbly when still warm. It firms up when cool.

I must say, I was very proud of the way the tart ballooned up in the oven almost like a soufflé and then gradually sank back down leaving ridges in the golden cheese on top.

I’m warning you now, the wait between removing it from the oven and it being cool enough to unleash from the tin and eat is excruciating; 10-15 minutes passed by like an hour.

Stilton and Pear Tart with Walnut Pastry

You will need a 23cm/9inch loose bottomed tart tin.

8 oz stilton cheese, crumbled
2 conference pears, skins removed and sliced (1-2 cm thickness)
284ml single cream
2 large eggs
4 shallots, finely chopped
Olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Dash of port
Salt and pepper

For the pastry

75g walnuts
150g plain flour
120g butter, chilled and diced
1 teaspoon icing sugar
Salt and pepper

Making the pastry

Put all the ingredients for the pastry into a food processor and blend until it resembles fine crumbs. Tip into the flan dish and press down with the back of a metal spoon until it covers the base and sides of the tin. Chill in the fridge for around an hour or so. Remember to cover the tart base with cling film, as you don’t want it to absorb the flavours from the fridge.

Preheat the oven to gas 4

Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. If the pastry begins to slip down the sides of the tart tin when cooking, the original recipe advises that you push it back up with a metal spoon. This didn’t happen when I made it however.
Remove and allow to cool slightly. Turn the heat up to gas 5.

Making the filling

Soften the shallots in 1 tbsp olive oil until translucent then splash in the port and let it cook off. Spread the shallots over the base of the tart. Arrange the sliced pears on top of this in a circular pattern. Whisk the cream and eggs together, and then mix in the thyme, cheese and lots of salt and pepper.

Put the casing on the edge of the oven shelf, and then carefully pour the cheese mixture into it. Bake at gas 5 for 30-40 minutes until just set. If you insert a skewer into the centre of the tart, it should come out clean if cooked.-Leave for 10-15 minutes before attempting to remove from the tin. No really, you must.

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13 thoughts on “Stilton and Pear Tart with Walnut Pastry

    1. Hi Judith, I’d love to give you a confident answer here but honestly I’ve never tried as food doesn’t last long enough in my house to make it to the freezer. I am not an expert on what can and cannot be frozen so I’m afraid I don’t know. Sorry.

  1. Hi Naomi – well this is just so lovely to hear your feedback! I am so happy you are enjoying making the tart and it hadn’t struck me just how lovely and Christmassy those flavour are too! I hope that you and your guests enjoy it, I really overjoyed – honestly!

  2. Hi helen, it’s in the oven smelling gorgeous as we speak – couldn’t find my mini tins in the end so I’m rather relieved it’s in just one 9inch tin. The port is a lovely touch too – almost feels like Christmas xxx

  3. Hi Naomi – I wouldn’t hesitate to make this in individual tins. I would be surprised if it doesn’t work although the pastry is quite crumbly and that might be a bit of an issue when you get it out, you might have to take extra care at that stage I think. Let me know how it goes!

  4. Recipe looks gorgeous – I was looking for pear and stilton inspiration beyond salad for a dinner party tonight so look forward to trying this. Wonder if it will work in individual tartlet tins?

  5. Thanks Nancy! I’m so glad you enjoyed the tart, and thank you for reminding me about that beetroot chutney! I will work on the recipe over the Christmas break and get back to you in the New Year – thank you so much for reading. Helen x

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