Here’s another lovely tart that’s perfect for special occasions as it’s rather rich.
Stilton is my favorite blue cheese and its unique tang goes beautifully with mushrooms – ‘Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic & Melted Stilton’, for instance. If you can’t find authentic English Stilton, use Roquefort.
Here, mushrooms and Stilton are combined with chives, onion, crème fraiche and eggs to make the filling.
The pastry contains ground walnuts and is very tender; a perfect complement to the mushrooms and cheese. However, in a push you could buy a raw short-crust pastry shell. Bake it blind following the instruction below.
Serve the tart as a vegetarian main dish or on it’s own with some mixed greens and a citrus-y dressing.
I like to make individual tarts but you could also make it in a 9 inch (22cm) loose-based tart pan.
MUSHROOM & STILTON TART with a WALNUT CRUST
Ingredients for the pastry crust (skip this part if you’re using ready-made pastry):
1 cup (240ml measure) of flour
2/3 cup (160ml measure) of walnut pieces
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of Colman’s dry mustard powder (optional)
3 oz (85g) of chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2-3 tablespoons of very cold water
To make the crust:
Put everything but the water into a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water one tablespoon at a time and pulse until big clumps form. Scoop the dough out of the processor, gently form it into a ball and wrap it in plastic. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Roll the pastry out onto a floured board, drape the pastry over the rolling pin and lower it into the tart pan(s). Don’t worry if it breaks or falls apart – just gently push the dough into place with your fingers, making sure you have an even thickness throughout. Prick the base all over with a fork then stick the raw crust in the freezer for 30 mins.
Ingredients for the filling:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
4 oz (125g) of brown button mushrooms (baby portabellas/crimini/chestnut)
5 oz (142ml) of crème fraiche
2 small eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz (125g) of blue Stilton, crumbled
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, snipped finely
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C). Bake the tart(s) pastry base blind for 15 minutes. Set aside while you make the filling.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the onions over a moderately low heat until they’re soft. Add the mushrooms and garlic then turn up the heat and sauté until they’re golden, stirring well. Set aside to cool a bit.
Beat the crème fraiche into the eggs and season with salt (go easy, as Stilton is a little salty) and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the crumbled Stilton and chives, followed by the cooled mushroom mixture.
Divide the filling among the part-cooked pastry cases and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden and slightly puffy.