Sunday 18 March 2012

Leek and Roquefort Tart with Caramelised Apple and Pine Nut Dressing

Leek and Roquefort Tart with Caramelised Apple and Pine Nut Dressing
This is a wonderful starter which you can prepare in advance to create this delicious dish.

Makes 4 Individual Tarts
Prep time:   15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

500g/1lb 2 oz ready-made short-crust pastry
25g butter
1 leek, finely shredded
100g/3 ½ oz Roquefort cheese
2 tbsp double cream
4 free range eggs

For the Apple & Pine Nut Dressing
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp pine nut kernels
1 tsp finely chopped chives
Pinch of salt and black pepper
25g butter
2 dessert apples (Cox are good)
3 tsp sugar

To serve
Basil leaves to garnish


1.  Roll out the ready-made pastry and cut out 4 rounds 13cm/5in in diameter.  Use to line 4 individual tartlets about 10cm/4inches.  Prick the base all over with a folk and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let the pastry rest.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

3.  For the best results blind bake the tartlets first.  Line the pastry case with foil and add the baking beans.  Place on a baking tray and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes, remove the foil and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.

4.  In the meantime melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the shredded leeks and cook until softened but don't allow them to colour.

5.  Divide the leeks equally between the pastry cases.  Beat together the eggs and cream and pour into the pastry cases and crumble the Roquefort into the tarts. Pop the tarts back into the oven and cook for about ten minutes or until the cheese have melted and the egg has just set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

6.  Core the apples and leaving the skin on, cut them into quarters then divide the quarters again.  This will give you four thick wedges for each serving. Melt the butter in your frying pan. Add 2 tsp of sugar and heat gently until it melts. Add the apple wedges and cook until they begin to soften and take on a little colour.

7.  To make the dressing, put all the remaining ingredients into a jam jar and shake to combine.

7.  To serve. Place a tart in the centre of each plate. Arrange the apple wedges around the tart and spoon around the dressing. Garnish the tart with some torn basil leaves.

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