I'm such a cheese freak, it's no wonder I come from a line of dairy farmers. Blue cheese is my favorite of all cheeses, especially my friend David Gremmels' Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue - so smooth and rich and tangy. This simple tart is a delicious start to a party. The balance of the blue cheese with the sweet caramelized figs is dreamy. Finish with fresh rosemary - it's heavenly.
- 1 frozen puff pastry, thawed in fridge (I prefer Dufour all-butter found at Whole Foods)
- 1 pint fresh figs, stems removed and sliced ⅛" thick (If you can't find fresh then 1 pint dried Mission figs - remove stems and cut into quarters)
- 1 cup crumbled Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue cheese
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary fronds + 2-3 3" branches for garnish
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°.
If using dried figs, place the pint of figs into a small sauce pan. Fill the pan with water just to cover the figs. Bring to a slow boil on medium high heat. Turn heat to medium, then let simmer about 10 minutes until the liquid is almost gone and figs are soft.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Unfold the thawed but chilled pastry on the parchment. Evenly distribute the figs and any remaining juice on the pastry. Scatter the blue cheese crumbles amongst the figs. Evenly layer the shallot slices over the cheese. Add the rosemary pieces. Season with freshly cracked pepper.
Place in the oven and bake until pastry puffs up and golden and cheese is melted, 20-25 minutes.
While the pastry is baking, place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat on medium and let the vinegar come to a slow boil. Turn the heat to low and let the vinegar reduce and slightly thicken (careful not to burn), 5-10 minutes. It is done when the vinegar coats the back of a spoon.
Remove the tart from the oven and place with the parchment on a cutting board or large serving platter. Drizzle the tart with the balsamic reduction. Cut into 2-3" squares.