Sunday, January 2, 2011

Stilton, Apple and Leek Tart

I am so far behind in my blogging...there is a reason that I haven't been able to sit at the computer for any length of time and I want to share the reason with you....


and...


Stella needed a home and we could give her a good home so...we now have a puppy.  The foster home mom said that she was about a year old.  She sure acts like a whole lot of puppy.  While the Kitchen Gnome and I are being trained by the puppy...oops, while we are training the puppy, there hasn't been much time for blogging.  We have had Stella for five weeks, now, and she is a different young lady.  We still have more learning and training to do but we are pretty happy with her progress!

I had a puppy breather and spent the day New Year's Eve cooking.  It was so much fun to be back in the kitchen again!  While looking through old issues of Fine Cooking, I came across a recipe for Stilton, Apple and Leek Tart with a Spiced Whole-Wheat Crust.  My heart sang at the thought of blue cheese and apple!  Just what I had in mind to take as an appetizer New Year's Eve.

The recipe specified Stilton cheese...how is it different?  Stilton is an English blue cheese made from cow's milk.  It has very fine veins of mold in a radial pattern.  The pattern of these fine veins throughout the cheese, allow for even flavoring.

The Stilton, apple and leek flavor combination is amazing.  The only recommendation that I would make is to serve it after coming from the oven and it has cooled just a bit.  I think the flavors would be  appreciated more when it is warmer than room temperature.



Stilton, Apple and Leek Tart 
with a
Spiced Whole-Wheat Crust
Fine Cooking, Appetizers, 2007

Tart Shell
1 1/2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sifted whole wheat flour
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp ground mace
 Pinch cayenne
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
4-6 Tbs ice water

Tart Filling
1 medium leek (white and light green parts only), trimmed
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 medium apple (Fuji or other sweet-tart variety), unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch cubes.
3 large eggs
1 cup half and half or light cream
1/2  tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 lb Stilton, trimmed of rind and crumbled

Make the tart shell:  In a medium bowl, stir the two flours, coriander, mace, cayenne, and salt.  By hand or using a food processor, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter bits resemble oatmeal.  Mix in just enough ice water to form a ball of dough (a Tbs at a time) be sparing.  Gently flatten the dough into a smooth disk about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a round about 1/8 inch thick.  Drape the dough over the rolling pin and lift it over a 10 or 11 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.  Unroll it loosely over the pan and gently press the dough into the pan without stretching it.  Trim any excess dough from the rim of the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 400° F.  Fit a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the dough and fill it with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake until the dough is cooked through but not year browned, 20-25 minutes.  Remove the foil and weights and bake until the dough is evenly and lightly browned, about another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

Make the filling:  Split the leek lengthwise into quarters and then cut crosswise into quarter slices.  Soak in cold water, swishing to loosen the dirt.  Scoop the leeks from the water and drain.

Heat the butter in a medium skillet; add the leeks and apples.  Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the leeks are brightly colored and the apples are softened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

Lightly beat the eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Fill and bake the tart:  Heat the oven to 300° F.  Cover the underside and edges of the tart pan with heavy-duty foil to prevent leaks and put the pan on a baking sheet.  Distribute the leeks and apples evenly over the tart shell.  Sprinkle the crumbled Stilton between the apples and leeks.  Pour the custard over the top.  Bake until the custard has just set in the middle, about 45 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature before serving.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

11 comments:

  1. Sounds and looks mouthwateringly delicious. I wondered how Stilton was different. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The cutest puppy ever and the most interesting and delicious sounding tart I've ever seen...including the crust. You are so sweet to adopt Stella. She will spend the rest of her life thanking you. Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so happy that you rescued Stella!
    She is so lucky to have a good home filled with good food and love!
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks delicious and so does your new puppy!
    Have tons of fun with her!
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love Stella! What a face. What a lucky pup. What a lucky family to have her. Enjoy!

    The tart looks delicious and what's not to like about the ingredients!!

    Happy new year!

    Best,
    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  6. Stella..love the name..we just watched Bette Midler in Las Vegas and reminisced about her movie Stella that we loved..:)

    Cute face.. and the tart? Speaking of Bette's jokes:) Looks wonderful..
    She does too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Stella's first photo looks like she is ready to spring into action at a moments notice. What a sweet little face, but...oh, a puppy! It makes me tired just thinking about it.

    What a beautiful tart. Stilton is one of my favorite cheeses.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How adorable, Kate! And I love the name. Bet you have been very busy. :)

    Stilton is one delicious cheese. I'm going to love trying this tart!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The tart definitely looks scrumptious! I would love to try this!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mmmm that looks lovely and what a cute puppy!
    Happy New Year Kate!
    Cheers!
    Ry

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your puppy is so cute. And I love the tart. The pastry sounds very interesting. Happy New Year Kate. Look forward to your 2011 posts.

    ReplyDelete