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18.12.2017

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Delicious tarts with a thin crunchy crust, filled with an easy homemade pear chutney and topped with a choice of intense blue cheese or salty, rich Greek kefalograviera.

Savoury Tarts with Pear Chutney and Blue Cheese or Gruyere www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A side view of the cake stand with the tarts sitting on top. In the foreground is a small bowl of chutney and a persimmon. To the right, a piece of cheese with a cheese knife stuck in it. The background is dark.

Do you like mince pies? No? This is your absolute best alternative. They look similar, and have a Christmassy feel to them. And more than that, they are just plain delicious.

Savoury Tarts with Pear Chutney and Blue Cheese or Gruyere www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A three quarter view of the cake stand with the tarts sitting on top. In the foreground is a small bowl of chutney and some rocket leaves. To the right, a piece of cheese with a cheese knife stuck in it and some dried apricots. Towards the back, half a pomegranate on a piece of muslin fabric.

They are also quite easy to make. This dough is nice and simple, and the pear chutney is super easy to throw together. Actually, you could make that well in advance – it would taste nicer that way as chutney needs some time to mature – and just prepare the pastry cases either on the day of serving or the day before (and store in an airtight container).

Savoury Tarts with Pear Chutney and Blue Cheese or Gruyere www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A side view of the tarts. In the foreground another tart on a wooden surface, the bowl of chutney barely visible and some rocket leaves scattered around. In the background a cheese knife sticking out of a piece of blue cheese and some muslin fabric further behind that.

These tarts are a great addition to a cheese board, as you might have guessed from my photos.

Savoury Tarts with Pear Chutney and Blue Cheese or Gruyere www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A hand entering the frame from the left side, holding a plate of tarts. Barely visible in the background is the rest of the cheese board.

You can use any cheese you like as a topping, but the two cheeses I’m suggesting are really really good with the chutney. The blue cheese gives you that explosion of flavour when you bite into the tart, and the kefalograviera has a mellower taste but its saltiness and rich flavour is a perfect match to the sweet and tangy pear chutney. Kefalograviera (a Greek deli would be the best place to look for it) is similar to gruyere, so if you can’t find it substitute it with that.

Savoury Tarts with Pear Chutney and Blue Cheese or Gruyere www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: a top view of the tarts laid out on the cake stand in the middle of the cheese board. Around it are crackers, pieces of orange, pomegranate, gruyere cheese, blue cheese, brie, dried apricots and figs, walnut pieces, half an apple and a persimmon barely visible.

The pastry is enough for 12 thin cases, and you should have some left over. With that, you could make some extra, bite sized cases in a mini muffin tin, or bake a small gallette with any filling you feel like. I did the mini version, so cute…

Savoury Tarts with Pear Chutney and Blue Cheese or Gruyere www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Another side view, very similar to the second photo, just slightly further away. Some of the tarts have crumbled blue cheese on them and some have gruyere cut into rectangles or circles.

So, get some nibbles that you really like, pile them up on a nice platter, and serve them with your favourite wine and these fabulous savoury tarts. Party food sorted!

Savoury Tarts with Pear Chutney and Blue Cheese or Gruyere www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: a closer top view of the tarts, some of them cut out of the photo on the left. In the background to the bottom of the photo is a piece of gruyere with a knife in it, and to the top, a piece of brie. Some fruit and crackers are also scattered around the tarts.

Ingredients

For the tart bases
180gr flour, all purpose
15gr kefalograviera cheese, finely grated
1/2 tsp salt
90gr butter or margarine
2 Tbs (approx.) cold water

For the chutney
300gr pears, firm, peeled and chopped (about 2-3 pears, weighed after prep)
50gr onion, finely chopped (about half a medium onion, weighed after prep)
40gr sultanas
60gr sugar
30ml (2 Tbs) white vinegar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice

To assemble the tarts
kefalograviera or gruyere, cut into small shapes or pieces
blue cheese, crumbled

Step 1

For the tart bases
In a large bowl whisk the flour, kefalograviera and salt. Add the butter or marge and cut it into the mixture with a pastry cutter or knife until it looks like breadcrumbs. Or use the tips of your fingers to rub the butter into the flour. Add the water little by little while mixing with a fork. When you feel the mixture starting to get sticky (it won’t be very obvious but the feeling on your fork will change slightly) knead the dough into a ball with your hands.

Step 2

Roll the dough out thinly and cut out 12 discs with a fluted cookie cutter or a glass. The diameter of the cutter should be the same or only slightly larger than the diameter of the holes of a muffin tin (the cases will be baked in the tin). Line the holes with the pastry discs. The pastry will only come up the sides a little, we want them shallow.

Step 3

Place some baking beans (or dried beans) on the pastry and bake in a preheated oven at 180C fan assisted (200C conventional) for about 10-12 minutes. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Step 4

For the chutney
Bring the pear, onion, sultanas, sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger and allspice to the boil in a small pan over high heat. Turn to low, cover the pan and leave for about 45 minutes until the pears soften and the chutney thickens. Let it cool before using, or ideally make a few days ahead of time so the flavours have time to mingle.

Step 5

To assemble
Dollop two teaspoons of chutney into each pastry case and top with some crumbled blue cheese or some pieces of kefalograviera. I did 6 and 6, as I love both combinations. Serve at room temperature.

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