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Stilton and Parsnip Tart

When the Great Fire of London was at its height, Boswell was seemingly unconcerned about the fate of his house, but he was very worried about his Stilton cheese, which he hurriedly buried in his garden.
The recipe for making Stilton first appeared in the eighteenth century, with the original thought to have come from the housekeeper at Quenby Hall just outside Leicester; known as Quenby cheese, it was sold to the Bell Inn in the village of Stilton, not far from Peterborough. Stilton has traditionally been eaten with something sweet - for example, port or a sweet wine. In this tart the sweetness of the parsnips fulfils this role admirably.
Parsnips have been valued since Roman times, and later, because of their capacity to mix well with honey, wine and spices, they often found themselves in puddings and pies.
Although we tend to think of parsnips as a roast vegetable, this tart will make you think again. Cumin and coriander help to accentuate the sweetness of the parsnip and the distinctive flavour of the Stilton.

ingredients

serves 6-8
225 g (8 oz) plain shortcrust pastry
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, cut into small chunks
3 parsnips, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, slightly crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
225 g (8 oz) blue Stilton (not mature)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
300 ml (1/2 pint) double cream

method

1. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface, sprinkled with 1 tablespoon chopped coriander and use to line a deep 23cm (9 in) tart tin. Pre-bake or bake blind. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, carrot, parsnips and cumin seeds and toss them until covered in oil, then cover and cook gently until the onion is pale golden and soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons coriander and add salt to taste.

3. Crumble the cheese over the base of the pre-baked pastry case and cover with the cooked vegetable mixture.

4. Mix the eggs and cream in a jug and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetable mixture.

5. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until set. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped coriander.

6. Serve warm or cold with a green leaf salad.

What did you think?

11 people have helped to review this recipe. Thankyou!

Stilton and Parsnip Tart
posted by Jim Devereaux @ 02:27PM, 11/22/09
Boswell was not born until 1740, about twenty years after the first mention of Stilton cheesemaking in record books, so couldn't have been at the Great Fire of London in 1666. Samuel Pepys on the other hand buried a large Parmazan (Parmesan) cheese on 4th September 1666 in his back garden along with some wine and other valuables. Apart from that, a tasty recipe! Works well as tartlet entrees.
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