Crunchy Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts

Crunchy Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts
Staff Writer

Emily Ansara Baines

As any experienced chef would know, blue cheese brings out the sweet taste of figs like no other ingredient. Thus, Mrs. Patmore would bake these delicious hors d’oeuvres that are simultaneously sweet and tart. Eaters beware, however: Nothing is as tart as the Crawley sense of humor!

4
Servings
538
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook (F+W Media, September 2012) By Emily Ansara Baines

Ingredients

  • frozen sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 2  Tablespoons  honey, plus more to taste
  • 2/3  Cups  plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6  Tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  cinnamon
  • kosher salt
  • 1  Tablespoon  heavy cream
  • 1/4  Cup  toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1  Tablespoon  lukewarm water
  • 12  fresh figs, halved lengthwise and stems removed
  • 1/2  Cup  sweet port
  • 6  Ounces  Stilton blue cheese, crumbled, at room temperature

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out puff pastry sheet on a clean, lightly floured surface. Place puff pastry sheet in a well-greased baking pan and then place another sheet pan on top of puff pastry to prevent it from rising too much.

Bake puff pastry in preheated oven (with sheet pan still on top) for 5-8 minutes or until beginning to turn golden. Remove and set aside.

To make walnut crunch: In a medium-sized skillet, stir the 2 tablespoons of honey, the 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of the butter, the cinnamon, and a pinch of salt over medium heat until the butter melts. Cook mixture until it boils and reaches a deep golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in cream, followed by walnuts. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, then pour out over a sheet of heavy foil. Let cool completely, then chop walnut crunch into small pieces.

To prepare figs: Mix the rest of the sugar sugar, water, and a pinch of salt in a heavy skillet over medium heat until sugar is evenly moist, adding more water if needed. Cook mixture until sugar turns golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Place figs cut side down in sugar mixture. Cook figs until they begin to release juice. Immediately add the rest of the butter, swirling skillet to melt. Remove from heat and add port. Let figs marinate in port mixture for 5-10 minutes before removing figs to a plate to cool. Once again bring syrup to a boil, whisking until smooth. Cool completely.

Using a 2- to 3-inch pastry cutter, cut out rounds of semi-baked puff pastry. Divide walnut mixture among rounds, then top with fig halves, cut side up.

Bake tartlets in preheated oven (still at 350 degrees) for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Artfully arrange cheese on top of tartlets, followed by the sweet port syrup. Drizzle with honey and serve.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
40g
57%
Sugar
9g
10%
Saturated Fat
16g
67%
Cholesterol
56mg
19%
Carbohydrate, by difference
41g
32%
Protein
14g
30%
Vitamin A, RAE
139µg
20%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
9µg
10%
Calcium, Ca
114mg
11%
Choline, total
38mg
9%
Fiber, total dietary
6g
24%
Folate, total
65µg
16%
Iron, Fe
3mg
17%
Magnesium, Mg
68mg
21%
Niacin
4mg
29%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
224mg
32%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
10µg
18%
Sodium, Na
383mg
26%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
54g
2%
Zinc, Zn
2mg
25%

Fig Shopping Tip

Buying fruits in season when they are at the peak of their freshness make for great tasting food and can save you money.

Fig Cooking Tip

Don’t throw out your overripe fruit – instead blend into a smoothie or salad dressing, add to muffin batter, bake into a cobbler, or boil down with sugar and a little lemon juice to make jam.