Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Goin' Nuts for Blue Cheese - Gorgonzola & Walnut Tart

 Every once in awhile, I get a hankerin' for something SUPER cheesy.  Normally, when this happens, I turn to Macaroni & Cheese in all it's myriad permutations.  After all, what better way is there to showcase cheese than pouring it's rich, gooey and melty deliciousness over a mound of pasta? 

But if you are a blue cheese lover, as I am, this tart that will roll your cheese wheel right out the door.  It's so rich, creamy and cheesy that even I can only eat a small slice, to be accompanied by Watercress soup and a very VERY large salad, to break up the cheesiness. 

This is a French tart that has no equal.  You can consume your whole daily caloric intake in one fell swoop with this one.  But it's sooooooooo good.  The filling is simply a cheese laden custard (similar to a quiche) that is them sprinkled with toasty walnuts to add some crunch.

I actually prefer Gorgonzola for this one.  It seems to me that Gorgonzola melts a little smoother than some other crumbly Blue Cheeses.  I also think that it's flavor profile better pairs with toasted walnuts and the peppercorns in the pastry crust. Which reminds me.  It's not simply the tart filling that is rich and high in calories, the crust I like to use for this is my infamous Sour Cream/Peppercorn pastry dough that I usually reserve for certain quiches and my Asparagus / Gruyere Tart

Gorgonzola & Walnut Tart

1 recipe for Sour Cream Peppercorn Pastry Crust
1 cup (100g) Walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup (236ml) Heavy Cream
3 large Eggs
2 large Egg Yolks
6 oz (170g) Gorgonzola, crumbled (you can use Stilton, Saga, or Roquefort if you prefer)
Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C) degrees.
Meanwhile, prepare the Sour Cream Peppercorn Pastry dough; roll the pastry out to fit a 10 inch quiche dish or a fluted tart pan and chill while the oven continues to preheat.

When the oven comes to temperature, toast the walnuts for 5 minutes.

When the Walnuts are finished, remove the pastry from the refrigerator, line with foil or parchment and fill with beans or weights then bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the foil and beans/rice/weights and bake for an additional 5 minutes. (just until the crust is cooked, but still very pale)

Reduce the oven temperature to 350F (180C) degrees.
Whisk the Eggs, Egg Yolks and Heavy Cream together in a small bowl.

Add the crumbled Gorgonzola and stir.

Season with Salt and Pepper, then pour the filling into the warm tart shell.

Sprinkle with toasted Walnuts.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven, just until the top begins to brown.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before attempting to cut.

Delightfully cheesy and UBER rich.  This is most definitely NOT a diet food, that is for sure.


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