BBC2 here, I hope you are all well. Thanks for looking in on our blog, we do appreciate it! Last Christmas we went to visit friends and family, and we went to friends, Pauline and PJ’s, for a pre-Christmas drinks party and BBC1 had a little puff pastry bite and said how nice they where. The young woman he was talking to said she’d had made them and she had used a Nigel Slater recipe for Stilton Puffs, to which BBC1 replied “but I don’t like stilton!?!”
I have made these since and we both think they are nice and tasty, but the stilton would always spill out onto the baking tray, no matter what I did. So trying to be clever I popped the puff pastry into a tart tin, crumbled the stilton in and baked them. Only for them to have a volcano effect as the tarts burst upwards some 3 inches (see photo, kindly supplied by BBC1, snicker-snicker), so back to the drawing board! So here is my take on stilton tarts using short crust pastry. I hope you give them a go as they are easy and tasty, please let us have any feedback as it is always appreciated and helps us.
125g/ 4oz stilton
1 tbs double cream
2 tsp finely chopped fresh chives
6 oz plain flour
3 oz unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
2- 3 tablespoons cold water
Put the flour and salt into a food processor and pulse for a moment to aerate, then add the cold butter cubed and pulse until you have fine bread crumbs. With the processor still running at low speed add the cold water slowly until the pastry comes together in a ball, stop the processor, wrap the pastry in cling film and place in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
If you do not have a food processor or wish to do it by hand, then sieve the flour into a bowl with the salt, add the cold butter cut into small cubes then work the butter into the flour by rubbing it through your fingers and thumbs until you have a mixture of fine bread crumbs, now add the cold water a little at a time until the pastry comes together in a ball ensuring it’s not too wet, place it in cling film in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven 170c fan and grease a 12 hole tart tin.
In a bowl crumble the stilton cheese and using a fork mash the cheese, adding the double cream to loosen it. Then add the egg and chives and mix them together, so you have a thick paste.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry to about ¼ inch thickness and using a circular pastry cutter, cut out circles of pastry to line each hole, then spoon the stilton mixture equally into each hole smoothing the mixture down. Roll out the remaining pastry and using a circular pastry cutter that fits the top of the tarts cut out circles to fit. Brush the tops with a little milk and using the tip of a sharp knife make 2 little slits to allow the steam out. Bake for twenty minutes and leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then place on a wire rack to cool. May be eaten warm or cold. You can try using other strong cheeses or your own favourite cheese. Relatively simple, so do give them a go!
BBC1: Now I wasn’t going to mention the slight hiccup with the puff pastry tarts (oh yes I was!) but someone got a bit uppity, so I decided to post the pic too! Although a bit of a presentation disaster, they were mighty tasty and I think I ate most of them😊. The shortcrust ones were great too! Amazing really as I really don’t like blue cheese, but once it’s cooked that’s a different matter, weird huh?
As promised, the so-called disasters…