Sunday, 1 April 2018

Prosciutto, Pear and Blue Cheese Tart

What a tasty way to use some frozen pastry, a chunk of blue cheese and two very ripe pears! This tart was a contrast in textures and tastes...the prosciutto was crisp and salty, followed by sweet, juicy pear and tangy blue cheese, and then sweet, soft caramelized shallots.

This was our dinner, together with a green salad, but it could be served for lunch, or as an appetizer or canape if it is cut or made in bite sized pieces.

Before you start, thinly slice 5 shallots, and cook slowly in olive oil until they soften and caramelize. This can be done a day ahead if you like. From there on it's quick and easy to assemble, and bake.

Line a 10" tart shell with a removable bottom, and prebake the crust.

I used the pastry from the post

Set the tart shell aside, and turn the oven temperature up to 375F.

Spread the caramelized shallots over the bottom of the baked tart shell.

Sprinkle the shallots with:

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Peel and core:

2 ripe pears

Cut each pear into slices that are about 1/4" thick.

Lay the slices on top of the shallots and basil.
Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper.

Crumble the blue cheese over the pears:

2 - 4 tablespoons blue cheese

Loosely drape the prosciutto over the tart:

5 thin slices of prosciutto

Make a custard by whisking together:

2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place the tart shell onto a baking sheet and carefully pour the custard over the filling.

Bake at 375F for 10 minutes.
Turn the heat down to 350F and continue to bake until the custard is set and slightly puffed. Test by piercing the middle of the tart with a sharp will come out clean when the custard is set.
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove the tart from the pan, and cut into wedges to serve. I served it with a green salad and citrus vinaigrette.  You can serve this tart hot, or at room temperature.

  • If you do not have pastry in the freezer, or time to make pastry, a purchased dough or crust will work just as well. Other pastry options include a nut crust as found in the post Fig, Brie and Prosciutto Crostata with a Pecan Crust or a Roast Garlic Shortbread Quiche Crust.
  • Caramelized onions can be substituted for the shallots. If I am making something where caramelized onions or shallots are required I often make a lot more than needed, and plan on a second meal with them later in the week. They will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • I used basil as a fresh herb...try fresh thyme, rosemary or chives.
  • Pears are just one fruit choice. Others include apples, fresh figs, peaches or plums.
  • I like the tang and intensity of blue cheese with the sweetness of the pear, but you could also use Cambozola, Brie or goat cheese.
  • If you want a richer custard, use whipping cream or half and half instead of milk. 

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