Pear, blue cheese and walnut tart with wholemeal pastry

Pear, blue cheese and walnut tart being sliced by pair of hands while on a metallic oven rack

I’m not sure when we stopped making wholemeal pastry, but I’m all about bringing it back! It’s super-tasty in this tart, which pairs tangy blue cheese with pears and walnuts.

Makes 26cm tart

Ingredients

Pastry ingredients

200g wholemeal flour

100g chilled butter

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons ice-cold water

Filling and syrup ingredients

2-3 pears

2 tablespoons butter

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

3 heaped tablespoons cream cheese

75g crumbled blue cheese (I used Kāpiti Kahurangi Creamy Blue)

3 tablespoons walnuts, roughly chopped

Method

1. Make the pastry by combining flour, chilled butter and salt in a food processor until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Don’t overwork it – lumps of butter are okay. Drizzle in the ice-cold water and pulse a few times until it starts to come together in a ball. Turn out and with a light hand press it together into a flat disc, wrap and chill it for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 180°C and place a tray in to heat up. Roll out pastry and line 26cm tin with it. Try to get a thin pastry shell and just patch any holes or tears – it’s very forgiving. Prick all over with a fork and return to the fridge.

3. Make the filling by cutting each pear into quarters and each quarter into 3 or 4 slices.

4. Place the pear, butter and half the brown sugar in a pan on medium and cook until the pear is softened and the pear juice has mixed in with the butter and sugar to form a syrup – about 5-7 minutes.

5. Mix cream cheese and remaining brown sugar to a paste. Spread this over chilled pastry base. Using a slotted spoon, pile the pear mixture into the pastry case, drizzling over some of the syrup and reserving some to serve.

6. Bake for 25 minutes on the preheated tray, then toss on the walnuts and bake for another 10 minutes or until the edges are well cooked and the pears are golden.

7. Crumble blue cheese over the tart while still warm and it will melt into the tart.

8. Serve warm or cold with an extra drizzle of the syrup.

Nici’s note:

This tart keeps well and is as fantastic on day three as it was fresh out of the oven, maybe even better.


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