Thursday, 4 June 2009

A Blue Cheese Tart

It's been a long time since I last paid a visit to one of my very favourite foodie places. Too long. I am, of course, referring to the fabulous, wish-I-lived-in-London, cookbook lovers dream, Books for Cooks in Notting Hill. For those of you who don't know, Books for Cooks is a shop entirely devoted to selling Cook Books. I know....I come over all funny just thinking about it! Aswell as selling books they also have a little test kitchen at the back of the shop where they try out two or three recipes every day, plus a selection of cakes. These are then served up to the lucky few who manage to find a seat at the handful of tables until it's all gone. They also host a variety of worskshops throughout the year. I haven't managed to attend one yet but this year I'm determined to schedule one in somewhere!

Aswell as selling other people's books, Books for Cooks also produce their own books which contain collections of the best-tasting recipes made in the test kitchen over the past year and as you might expect, these are a veritable treasure-trove of varied and wonderful recipes.

It was in one of these books that I found the following recipe. I was in a tart-making sort of mood and this was the one that appealed to me most.

Blue Cheese and Spinach Tart with Caramelised Onions
(adapted from A Taste of Australia - The Bathers Pavilion Cookbook by Victoria Alexander and Genevieve Harris. Brought to me via Books for Cooks Favourite Recipes from Books 1,2 and 3)

4 onions, finely sliced
90g/3oz butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
black pepper
125g/40z spinach leaves
175g/6oz blue cheese (Roquefort or Gorgonzola) crumbled
6 tbsp mascarpone
1 organic egg, beaten
24cm (91/2 inch) shortcrust pastry case, baked blind
(175g/6oz flour, pinch of salt, 90g/30z cold butter, 1 organic egg yolk)

1) Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a low heat, stir in the onions, salt and sugar and cook gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meltingly soft and deep golden brown. Season to taste.

2) Prepare the spinach by stripping the leaves of their stalks, then rolling up the leaves and slicing them into thin strips.

3) Mix together the mascarpone, blue cheese and egg until fairly smooth.

4) Spread the caramelised onions over the bottom of the pastry case, then press the spinach gently on to the top. Pour over the mascarpone mixture and spread it as evenly over the tart as possible so that the spinach is well covered and does not scorch.

5) Bake the tart at 190c/375f/Gas 5 until the mascarpone topping is puffed and golden (about 30 minutes).

Serves 4-6

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I've never heard of that place and it sounds like HEAVEN! I will have to make my way there as fast as my little legs will carry me! Right after I make this tart, which looks amazing. Full of some of my favourite things in the all the world. Yummy.