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Peppery Blue Cheese Tart with Caramelised Fennel

Peppery Blue Cheese Tart with Caramelized Fennel

Peppery Blue Cheese Tart with Caramelized Fennel

I’m totally enamoured with the unconventional recipe for shortcrust I posted a few months ago. It’s liberated me from a tart free world. The fact that it makes a big enough quantity for two 30cm tarts makes it perfect in my eyes, one for now and one to freeze in the tin, unbaked, for another meal.

On a recent rainy day, with no desire to leave the house I decided to use a frozen tart case for a lunch dish. I’d bought a wedge of blue cheese with a tart in mind but hadn’t refined my thoughts further. Blue cheese has a natural affinity with fruit, but I do not, so I opted to add just a touch of restrained sweetness with some meltingly soft caramelised fennel.

The combination of buttery pastry, buttery fennel and rich blue cheese screamed for some restraint, so I chose skimmed milk for the custard.

I really underestimated the synergy of the flavours I was combining. The subtle sweetness of the fennel, the bite of the black pepper and the rich sharp blue cheese were wonderful together.

Don’t buy expensive blue cheese to make this tart and choose a crumbly rather than a creamy variety. Remember to keep some of the feathery green tops off the fennel for garnish.

Peppery Blue Cheese Tart with Caramelised Fennel

1 X 30cm shallow tart tin lined with shortcrust and baked blind. I used this recipe.

2 small bulbs of fennel trimmed and finely sliced

2 teaspoons butter

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

200g blue cheese

4 large eggs

250mls skimmed milk

2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper extra

Trim and thinly slice the fennel, then rinse under running water.

In a small pan melt the butter, add the wet fennel, then cover the pan tightly and lower the heat.

Sweat the fennel until it is meltingly soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn the heat up, add the sugar and vinegar and stir the fennel until the sugar has melted and all the moisture has evaporated.

Stir in the cracked black pepper. Allow to cool a little.

Pre heat the oven to 160C.

Crack the eggs into a measuring jug, then add enough milk to double the volume. You need about 500mls. Whisk until the eggs and milk are well combined.

Spread the fennel over the base of the blind baked pastry.

Crumble the blue cheese evenly over the fennel leaving some bigger chunks.

Carefully pour the custard over the cheese.

Scatter over the remaining 2 teaspoons of cracked pepper.

Bake the tart until the custard in the centre is set, 20-25 minutes. The time will depend on your oven.

Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the tin and serve garnished with some feathery fennel fronds.

 

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

24 comments on “Peppery Blue Cheese Tart with Caramelised Fennel

  1. Moya
    January 2, 2017

    Delicious looking tart Sandra and love the flavor combination of blue cheese and fennel 🙂

    Like

  2. Pingback: Caramelized Fennel and Gorgonzola Tartlets | Stefan's Gourmet Blog

    • ladyredspecs
      December 21, 2016

      Thanks for the generous shout-out Stefan. I’m pleased I was able to inspire you to try this flavour combination, it sound to me as you enjoyed it as much as we did. I’ll try your pastry recipe soon, like the idea of eliminating some fat, especially when there are so any other rich ingredients in the tart

      Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 21, 2016

      I’m sorry if you get this twice, my first attempt seems to have gone off into the ether. A big thanks for the kind shout-out, and I’m glad you found the fennel and blue cheese combination as pleasing as we did. I must try your olive oil pastry, I like that idea.

      Like

  3. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    December 16, 2016

    Fantastic tart, Sandra. I am a fan of this sort of food + anything made with blue cheese (particularly if it is a Stilton!). Glad you have found a way to end a tartless existence.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 17, 2016

      Thanks Debi. Stilton commands a fairly high price here because of import duty so it’s too good to use in a tart, but the generic Aussie blue I chose did a fine job. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa @ cheergerm
    December 16, 2016

    Love fennel and have never once thought to pair it with blue cheese, inspired!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 16, 2016

      Thanks Cheery, it was a fab pairing, I really underestimated how good it would be. I hope the grey clouds are clearing😘

      Liked by 1 person

  5. EllaDee's daleleelife101.blog
    December 16, 2016

    I love rainy days when I don’t need to leave the house because everything we need is already here. And blue cheese is one of my favourite foods. I developed a taste very late in life for fennel. I have some growing in a pot soon to go in the garden. Perfect combo. The shortcrust pastry recipe also is fabulous. I’m working my way through trying new cooking things. Pastry is on that list.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 16, 2016

      The pastry recipe is a beauty. Strong and crisp with a buttery flavour, probably better suited to a savoury rather that a sweet tart. I become more of a homebody as I age, rain, hail or shine…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ardys
    December 16, 2016

    Sandra, I’m sure a little bit of saliva just escaped the corner of my mouth. This sounds amazing. I printed out your shortcrust pastry recipe and have not had time to try it but I’m very keen. I, too, dislike a tartless existence. What brand blue cheese did you use? The flavours in this do sound amazing. Thank you.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 16, 2016

      Thanks Ardys. It was a seriously good combination. I can’t remember the brand of cheese, it was a wedge of generic foil wrapped blue from the display fridge in Coles, sharp and crumbly rather than creamy and subtle

      Liked by 1 person

  7. circusgardener
    December 16, 2016

    Lovely flavour combinations, and what a gorgeous looking tart!

    Like

  8. Bernice Hill
    December 16, 2016

    What an outstanding tart! Well done you, I never know what to do with fennel.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 16, 2016

      Thanks Bernice, fennel is an amazing ingredient, I’m using a lot to replace onion, it develops the same sweetness and I love the aniseed undertones

      Like

  9. Linda Duffin
    December 15, 2016

    You had me by the opening picture! That looks amazing.

    Like

  10. StefanGourmet
    December 15, 2016

    Love this, Sandra! I am definitely going to make this. I make caramelized fennel by cooking more fennel for 2 hours or so, without using sugar. I need more fennel that way, as it reduces by quite a lot.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 16, 2016

      Thanks Stefan. Caramelized fennel adds an amazing dimension to blue cheese, i hope you like it too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • StefanGourmet
        December 18, 2016

        Made a version of this and turned out great! Post to follow. Thanks for the inspiration, Sandra!

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        December 18, 2016

        You’re welcome Stefan, I look forward to seeing your interpretation

        Liked by 1 person

  11. katechiconi
    December 15, 2016

    I only had to read the recipe to start salivating! Blue cheese and almost anything in a tart is my idea of a bloody good time 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 16, 2016

      Hehe, birds of a feather. My grandparents introduced me to gorgonzola when I was about 4 yrs old and my love affair with blue cheese has never waned. It was magical with the fennel

      Like

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This entry was posted on December 15, 2016 by in Cooking, FODMAP diet, Food, Light Savoury Dishes, Main Meals, recipes, Savoury Baking, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , .
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