Pastry, Figs, Stilton, Walnut and Port Wine Reduction

January 17th, 2008

Every so often, my friends and I gather and have little “cooking parties”, this appetizer was something I whipped up at one of these soirés. The recipe was taken off of and I have to say this little dish was quite delicious.

However, in the future, I would serve this as Epicurious recommends as an after-dinner dessert (instead of appetizer), since it’s sweetness along with the strong flavor of the cheese lends itself to an upscale dessert.

Warm Black Mission Fig, Walnut Crunch, and Blue Cheese Tartlets
Recipe taken from Epicurious

INGREDIENTS for Walnut Crunch:

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts

INGREDIENTS for Figs and Puff Pastry:

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
Pinch of salt
9 fresh figs (preferably black Mission), stemmed, cut lengthwise in half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup ruby Port
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
3 ounces La Fourme d’Ambert or Stilton blue cheese, diced or coarsely crumbled, room temperature
Honeycomb or honey


Stir honey, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt in medium skillet over medium heat until sugar melts. Cook until mixture boils and is deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Mix in walnuts. Pour out onto sheet of foil; cool completely. Chop walnut crunch into small pieces. Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS for Figs and Puff Pastry:

  • Stir 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and salt in heavy large skillet over medium heat until sugar is evenly moist. Cook until sugar begins to turn golden, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes (mixture may be granular). Place figs in sugar mixture, cut side down, and cook until figs begin to release juice, about 3 minutes. Add butter; swirl skillet to melt. Remove skillet from heat. Add Port and let stand 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer figs to plate and cool. Return syrup to boil, whisking until smooth. Cool syrup completely. Figs and syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Rewarm syrup before using.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with foil. Roll out thawed puff pastry on lightly floured surface to 12×8-inch rectangle. Using 3 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out 6 rounds; arrange on prepared sheet. Divide walnut crunch among pastry rounds. Top each with 3 fig halves, cut side up.
  • Bake tartlets until pastry is puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Tartlets can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm at 350°F for 8 minutes.
  • Arrange cheese atop warm tartlets. Brush or drizzle with warm Port syrup, then top with cube of honeycomb or drizzle with honey.
  • Entry Filed under: appetizers,desserts,food and friends

    1 Comment Add your own

    • 1. monsumomo  |  January 25th, 2008 at 11:03 am

      While this looks, pretty good, nothing beats your simple classic goat cheese, honey and pinenuts app, yummm!!!!

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