food with sam mannering
Impress lunch guests with this gorgeous tart that celebrates the superb pairing of local blue cheese and in-season pears.
Ialways have what most people consider to be too much cheese in the fridge. I suspect it drives the others in the house insane, but I refuse to throw any out because it will always come in useful for a recipe like this. I specify blue cheese and pecorino in this tart, and I’ll never tire of the age-old combo of pear and blue, but use whatever you fancy (or find in your fridge). Some soft goat’s cheese would be delicious too; Cranky Goat is one to look out for.
Seek out local cheesemakers – it’s well worth it. When buying blue cheese look out for names such as Mahoe, Tinui, Kikorangi, Kawau, Over the Moon, Whitestone and Puhoi. They are all stunning.
As always, if I’m not making the pastry myself, then Paneton is my choice.
BLUE CHEESE, PEAR AND PECORINO TART
Serves: 6 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes about 300g savoury shortcrust pastry 1 tsp butter 3 large eggs 100ml cream sea salt and black pepper 100g hard cheese, such as pecorino, parmesan
or cheddar 100g blue cheese 2 beurre bosc pears (or similar), cored and
thinly sliced few sprigs rosemary Preheat oven to 180C. Roll pastry out to a thickness of 3-4mm. Take a 25cm diameter fluted tart tin and grease well with the butter. Use pastry to line the tin, trim the edges neatly and prick all over with a fork.
Weigh pastry down with baking paper and use uncooked rice or small pasta to bake blind for 15-20 minutes until pastry is cooked but still pale.
Remove weights and cook for a further 6-7 minutes so the base can cook. Take care not to let pastry go golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and salt and pepper to a smooth consistency. Shave or crumble both cheeses into the bowl and add all but a tablespoon of each into the mixture and fold in.
Pour mixture into pastry case and smooth out. Arrange sliced pear on top and scatter rosemary and remaining cheese on top.
Bake for a further 15-20 minutes until mixture is set on top and slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.