Savoury Pear (Roquefort and Walnut) Tarte Tatin

When we think of Tarte Tatin, our minds often drift to the classic, sweet version featuring caramelized apples or pears. However, the culinary world is full of surprises, and sometimes, a twist on a traditional recipe can lead to extraordinary results. Enter the Savory Pear Tarte Tatin, a delightful departure from the expected, featuring the irresistible combination of Roquefort cheese and crunchy walnuts.

A Savory Surprise

The Savory Pear Tarte Tatin is a celebration of contrasts – the sweetness of ripe pears, the boldness of Roquefort cheese, and the earthy richness of walnuts. This dish combines these diverse elements into a harmonious whole that tantalizes the taste buds in unexpected ways.

Pear Perfection

The star of this dish is undoubtedly the pear. Its natural sweetness and slightly grainy texture make it an ideal canvas for the savory notes of Roquefort and the crunch of walnuts. Choosing ripe, but not overly soft, pears is essential to achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

The Blue Cheese Elegance

Roquefort, a beloved French blue cheese, brings a creamy yet pungent character to the dish. Its tangy, salty profile complements the sweetness of the pears and adds depth to every bite. Roquefort lovers will appreciate how it weaves its magic throughout the Tarte Tatin.

Walnut Crunch

Walnuts, with their robust, nutty flavor and satisfying crunch, provide the necessary contrast to the softness of the pears and cheese. Toasting them briefly before adding them to the Tarte Tatin intensifies their flavor and ensures they maintain their texture during baking.

The Art of Assembling

Creating a Savory Pear Tarte Tatin is a culinary journey that involves a few key steps.

Caramelized Magic

Just like its sweet counterpart, this Tarte Tatin begins with caramelization. Sugar is melted in a skillet until it transforms into a rich, amber hue. This will be the base on which the pears, Roquefort, and walnuts will rest.

Pear Placement

Halved pears are then carefully arranged over the caramel, with their curved sides down. This ensures they soak up the caramel goodness during baking. Take your time with this step; the presentation is part of the dish’s charm.

Cheese and Walnuts

After the pears, crumble Roquefort cheese evenly over them and sprinkle the toasted walnuts. The Roquefort will melt and meld with the pears, creating a luscious, savory layer, while the walnuts provide a delightful crunch.

The Flip and Reveal

Once the Tarte Tatin is baked to golden perfection, it’s time for the magic flip. Carefully place a serving platter over the skillet and confidently, but cautiously, invert the Tarte Tatin. The moment of truth reveals a beautiful, golden-brown masterpiece.

Serving and Enjoyment

The Savory Pear Tarte Tatin is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven when the Roquefort is gooey, the pears are tender, and the walnuts are at their crunchiest. Serve it as a striking appetizer or a unique main course, paired with a crisp green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette to balance the richness of the dish.

Conclusion

The Savory Pear Tarte Tatin is a delightful twist on a classic French dessert. Its unique combination of sweet pears, tangy Roquefort cheese, and crunchy walnuts creates a symphony of flavors and textures that is sure to impress your palate and those of your guests. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or an adventurous home cook, this dish is a culinary journey worth embarking upon.

So, if you’re in the mood for a culinary adventure that defies expectations, gather your ingredients, and give the Savory Pear Tarte Tatin a try. It’s a savory surprise that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Rough Puff Pastry

Recipe by Jo
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

300

kcal

Ingredients

  • 225g strong white bread flour

  • pinch salt

  • 185g fridge cold butter (cut into small cubes 0.5cm diameter)

  • 125ml ice cold water
    2 teaspoons (10ml) lemon juice
    Topping
    40g soft brown sugar
    50g butter, cubed
    3 tbsp sherry vinegar
    40g chopped walnuts
    1 tbsp lemon thyme leaves (can use thyme if not available) 5g thyme leaves and stalks before removing leaves from stalks
    6 firm conference pears (depending on  size may need 5)
    100g Roquefort cheese
    4 or 5 thyme stalks for sprinkling over as decoration

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) lemon juice


  • 40g soft brown sugar

  • 50g butter, cubed

  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar

  • 40g chopped walnuts

  • 1 tbsp lemon thyme leaves (can use thyme if not available) 5g thyme leaves and stalks before removing leaves from stalks

  • 6 firm conference pears (depending on  size may need 5)

  • 100g Roquefort cheese

  • 4 or 5 thyme stalks for sprinkling over as decoration

Directions

  • Put flour and salt into a large bowl and add the cubed butter. Cut the butter down to mix into the flour with a round bladed knife. Cut the butter into smaller and smaller pieces coating them in the flour. Do not let the butter melt into the flour.
  • Add the lemon juice to the water and pour into the bowl. Continue to work with the knife until the dough comes together. Remove from the bowl onto a floured surface.
    Roll the dough into a rectangle with a floured rolling pin. The rectangle should be 3 times longer than it is wide.
  • Fold the top third of the pastry down, and the bottom third of the pastry up to meet it like folding a letter. Press the edges with a rolling pin.
    Rotate the pastry through 90 degrees and make 3 shallow depressions with the rolling pin to keep the edges straight. Roll into a rectangle again. Mark the pastry with a knife blade to allow counting of folds. This is fold one.
  • Repeat the process of folding and rolling again for fold two, then place to rest in the fridge/freezer for 10 minutes.
    Repeat the rolling and folding a total of 6 times, resting in the fridge for 10 minutes again after fold 4.
  • Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour if possible. Stand at room temperature before rolling out.
    Draw round and cut out a circle around the tatin tin to ensure the pastry is slightly larger than the tin.
  • Tatin Filling (make whilst pastry chilling)
    Preheat oven to  200 degrees (180 fan assisted)
    Peel, half and core the pears and allow to dry in room air. It doesn’t matter if they go brown as they are being caramelised. Cut each half into 3.
  • Heat the sugar gently over a low heat in the tatin pan until it turns golden, swirling to melt but do not stir.
    When the caramel is golden, turn up the heat and add the butter and vinegar. This will bubble for 1 minute releasing vinegar fumes, then remove from the heat.
  • Arrange the pear slices in a fan with the narrow ends of the pear slices at the centre of the pan and the larger ends at the edges of the pan and sprinkle the walnuts and thyme on the caramel. Crumble the cheese over.
  • Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to be larger than the tatin pan. Roll in a square shape not a circle to keep the layers of the puff pastry. Use the parchment circle template to cut a circle of pastry slightly larger then the diameter of the pan.
  • Lift the pastry over the filling using a rolling pin, tuck the sides down and make 2 knife pricks in the pastry to let the steam out.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and puffed up. Put some water in the bottom of the oven as the tart goes in to make steam and encourage the layers to rise.
  • Remove the tatin from the oven and rest for 10 minutes. Using oven gloves hold the serving plate over the tatin dish and invert.
  • Remove the pan and decorate  with sprigs of thyme.

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