These wonderful little tartelettes are made from a combination of ripe, sweet pears with tangy, sharp Roquefort blue cheese and aromatic rosemary.They make an excellent and very elegant starter; they are also wonderful if served as a light luncheon dish, with salads and chutney or pickles. The galettes can be assembled several hours in advance - or even the night before - then chilled until you are ready to bake and serve them. I have stipulated shortcrust pastry - but puff pastry can also be used.
- 2 egg whites, whisked until frothy
- 250 g Roquefort cheese
- 1 tablespoon creme fraiche
- 450 g shortcrust pastry
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaf
- 50 g salted butter
- 2 large pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- extra rosemary (to garnish)
- 2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk
- fresh ground pepper
- Stilton cheese (optional) or gorgonzola (optional) or blue vinney cheese (optional) or shropshire blue cheese (optional) or danish blue cheese (optional) or bleu d'auvergne cheese (optional)
- Put the blue cheese into a bowl and lightly crush or mash it. Add the whisked egg whites and the creme fraiche.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste and mix it to a coarse paste.
- Set aside and then chill it.
- Roll out the pre-prepared shortcrust or puff pastry. Using a plain or fluted 5" cutter, cut out four circles.
- Put them on a lightly greased baking sheet and prick them all over with a fork.
- Carefully spread the chilled blue cheese mixture all over them, leaving a border of about 1/2" to 3/4".Then sprinkle them with the finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves & store in the fridge.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220C/400F/Gas 6.
- Melt the butter in a shallow large pan & then add the pear slices, and about 3-4 tablespoons of water.
- Cook gently for about 6-8 minutes until the pears are tender but still holding their shape. Allow to cool.
- Arrange the pears over the chilled galettes in neatly overlapping circles and brush with a little melted butter.
- Sprinkle over the cumin seeds and a few extra rosemary leaves, season with salt and pepper and bring the edges of the pastry up and over the edge of the pears, to form a loose crust.
- Brush the tops of the galettes & the pastry with the beaten egg yolks & milk mixture.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool the galettes slightly before serving with salads, pickles or chutney.