Cheese and shallot tart
- December 2003
- Serves 6
- Hands on time 40 mins, plus 25-30 mins baking time
This classy tart recipe uses ready-made puff pastry to speed things up. The little caramelised shallots work so well with a lightish blue cheese such as Fourme d’Ambert. Why not give it a try if you’re cooking for a vegetarian?
- 250g puff pastry
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 200g unsalted butter
- 500g walnut-sized shallots, peeled
- 250g Fourme d’Ambert, or a creamy blue cheese that’s not too aggressive in flavour
- 115g fromage frais or fromage blanc
- 125ml double cream (optional)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Roll out the pastry to a 20cm circle. Using the tip of a knife lightly score a border all around the pastry about 2.5cm in from the edge, this will help lift the edges when cooking. Put on a lightly greased baking sheet. Prick the pastry base inside the scored border with a fork. Brush with the beaten egg white. Set aside.
- In a heavy-based frying pan, melt the butter until it’s foamy. Then add the shallots and cook until golden and caramelised (you can add a few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar for an extra sweet-sour, zesty taste). Take off the heat and scoop the shallots into a bowl to cool to room temperature. Reduce any liquid in the pan to a thick golden syrup and add it to the shallots.
- In a bowl, mash the cheese with the fromage frais or fromage blanc and the cream if using. Season, then fold in the thyme. Spread over the pastry to where you have scored the edge, then top with the shallots. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden. Serve warm.
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