Stilton Cheese and Shrimp Tartlet with Toasted Pine Nuts and Bosc Pears

by Chef Michael Salmon

serves 6

1 batch Pastry Dough (recipe below)

Vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (16–20 per pound)

4 ounces cream cheese

5 ounces Stilton cheese

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley

3/4 cup heavy cream

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

1 batch Chive Beurre Blanc (recipe below)

1 ripe bosc pear (other pear varieties will work well also)

2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut six 6-inch rounds of parchment paper. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into six 5 1/2-inch circles and form into 4-inch tartlet pans (with removable bottoms) that have been sprayed (or brushed) with vegetable oil. The dough should evenly coat the bottom and sides of the tartlet mold. Reserve the remaining dough for another use.
  3. Place one 6-inch parchment round on top of each tartlet and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the tartlets from the oven and empty out the beans or pie weights and parchment paper.
  4. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and cook the shrimp for 1 minute on each side, searing them but not cooking them through. Remove from the heat and onto a plate to stop the cooking. Season with salt and white pepper.
  5. Combine the cream cheese and Stilton together in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.  Add the egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of the chopped parsley, the heavy cream and mix well. Season with salt and white pepper.
  6. Divide the cheese mixture between the tart crusts and place two cooked shrimp on the top of each tartlet. Place the tartlets on a baking sheet and bake in the 350-degree oven for about 50 minutes.
  7. To serve, halve, core and slice the pear into 18 thin wedges. Place the tart in the middle of the serving plate and surround with a few Tablespoons of the chive beurre blanc. Arrange three pear slices on each plate, leaning them against the tartlet, and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and the remaining chopped parsley.


Pastry Dough

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 cup cold water


  1. In a mixer, combine the flour and salt. Cut the butter into fine cubes and mix into the flour until it resembles a fine meal. Add the shortening and mix for 30 seconds. Finally add the water and mix only until it combines. Do not overwork. Remove from the mixer and wrap in plastic wrap.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


Chive Beurre Blanc

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup white wine

1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup heavy cream

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives


  1. Dice the butter and bring to room temperature.
  2. Heat the oil in a small 2-quart saucepan. Sauté the onions over medium heat for 2 minutes, but do not allow them to brown. Deglaze with the white wine and vinegar and reduce over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Again, do not brown. Add the heavy cream and reduce the mixture by half, whisking occasionally.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately whisk in the butter until well incorporated. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl, discarding the solids. Season with salt and white pepper and stir in the chives. Keep in a warm place (not too hot or it will break) until serving.


 
 

close popup window