Any dish that involves short crust pastry, something caramelised and goats cheese is a winner. Oh and nuts, I forgot nuts. There’s no dispute.
These little beauts are what I imagine heaven might taste like – you should make these and see if you agree. I’m pretty sure you will.
If for some reason you dislike figs, you can easily make this recipe with red onions instead. Simple as that.
For the short crust pastry:
- 125g all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 55g cold unsalted butter, in cubes
- 3-4 tablespoons of cold water
- 5 figs, cut into 8ths
- 150ml good quality balsamic vinegar
- 2 heaped tablespoons caster sugar
- 200g goat’s cheese, rind removed
- 50g walnuts, crushed or roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 180°c
To make the short crust pastry rub the butter into the flour and salt until bread crumbs have formed. Don’t over work the mixture as you don’t want the butter to become greasy. Add the water using a knife to bind until the dough comes together. Form into a ball, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for around 25 minutes.
Once the dough has rested, tip it out onto a floured surface and roll to about a ¼ of an inch in thickness. Cut the pastry into four and drape each section over your tartlet cases, press in at the sides and trim the edges with a rolling pin.
Prick the base and line each tartlet with parchment paper, then fill with baking beans before blind baking in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the filling. In a frying pan on a medium heat, pour in the vinegar and sugar and cook until slightly bubbling. Add the figs and a generous amount of black pepper. Turn the heat down and cook gently for about 15 minutes, being careful not to break the figs up when stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Break the goats cheese up into rough pieces, set aside.
Once your tartlets have blind baked and cooled slightly, remove the baking beans and parchment paper before layering the figs on the base. Cover with the crumbled goat’s cheese, a segment of fig for garnish and a sprinkle of pepper before baking in the oven for 10 minutes.
Add the crushed walnuts and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
Makes 4 little tartlets