Crunchy Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts

Staff Writer
Crunchy Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts
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
986
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

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

Ingredients

  • 1 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.

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.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
56g
86%
Sugar
75g
N/A
Saturated Fat
26g
100%
Cholesterol
83mg
28%
Protein
15g
31%
Carbs
109g
36%
Vitamin A
256µg
28%
Vitamin B12
0.6µg
9.4%
Vitamin B6
0.3mg
13.6%
Vitamin C
3mg
5%
Vitamin D
0.6µg
0.1%
Vitamin E
1mg
6%
Vitamin K
20µg
25%
Calcium
300mg
30%
Fiber
6g
23%
Folate (food)
35µg
N/A
Folate equivalent (total)
103µg
26%
Folic acid
40µg
N/A
Iron
2mg
14%
Magnesium
51mg
13%
Monounsaturated
22g
N/A
Niacin (B3)
4mg
18%
Phosphorus
238mg
34%
Polyunsaturated
5g
N/A
Potassium
540mg
15%
Riboflavin (B2)
0.4mg
25.9%
Sodium
819mg
34%
Sugars, added
48g
N/A
Thiamin (B1)
0.4mg
23.9%
Trans
0.7g
N/A
Zinc
2mg
12%

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