“She flinched one anyway, and ate it on her way out. It was stuffed with chopped nuts and fruit and cheese, the crust flaky and still warm from the oven. Eating Ser Amory’s tart made Arya feel daring.” A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
Reading Game of Thrones awakens my appetite for roasted fowl, hearty soups and Hotpie’s bakery creations. I have been dreaming of these tarts ever since reading the description. Even if you are not a Game of Thrones lover, you will love these. Fruit, nut and cheese tarts. Chopped walnuts, sweet raisins and salty cheese sit atop a flaky and buttery crust. They’ll make you as daring as Arya.
A wonderful breakfast or appetizer. We enjoyed them as an afternoon treat with champaign on the porch. Spring has officially arrived in Shanghai! The birds are back and the trees green. No longer trapped inside, we’ve taken to eating every meal in the sunshine. Chirping sparrows momentarily transporting us to the countryside; a brief reprieve from bustling Shanghai. Al fresco culture in Shanghai is my favorite part of the city. As the weather heats up, patio seating becomes a treasured commodity with every inch of space crowded with tables and dinners. These tart are light enough for warm weather, while still filling and satisfying all your taste buds.
My tiny kitchen’s dearth of tools means that I mix everything by hand. Instead of using a food processor to make pastry dough, a frozen cheese grader works incredibly well to cut in butter. As for the availability of ingredients, I used cheddar and goat cheese to compliment the raisins’ sweetness. However, other cheeses would go equally as well. Particularly, a sharp blue cheese or stilton. Use whatever is available. This tart is adaptable. Cranberries for raisins. Pecans for walnuts. Go nuts.
Fruit, Nut and Cheese Tart
2 1/2 cups flour
227 grams cold butter (2 sticks)
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-6 tablespoon ice water
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 cup cream
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Crust: Combine flour, salt, and herbs de Provence. Cut in butter until you have pea sized pieces. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together when you pinch it. Use the least amount of water possible, as too much water will make the dough tough. Dump dough onto the counter and press together. Folding it on top of itself until it forms a disk.
Roll out dough until it is 1/8 thick. Cut out individual circles and place into cupcake pans. (Also makes one 9 inch pie.) Pierce dough all over with a fork. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Filling: Combine raisins, walnuts, cheddar cheese, goat cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Whisk eggs yolks together in another bowl. Heat cream and honey together over low heat until honey has dissolved and tiny bubbles form. Pour a steady stream of 1/4 cup of scalding cream into the eggs yolks, whisking constantly. Then add the rest of the cream to the yolks. Combine the cream mixture with the rest of the nut/cheese filling.
Cook chilled crust at 180 C (350 f) for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon in filling. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes depending on size of tarts.