Fig Tarts with Blue Cheese and Candied Walnuts make a great addition to a charcuterie board, appetizer and even dessert course.
The Port sauce makes them a perfect accompaniment to a glass of red wine or port. The blue cheese and walnuts will meld nicely with a toasty Chardonnay, Sauternes or even Sparkling.
All this to say – consider this for your next wine tasting or just to serve with other nibblies.
Store bought tart shells make these easy to pull together. They also freeze and reheat very nicely so you can make them last minute or well ahead – your choice!
You can make about 16 mini tarts or 8 regular size tarts.
Wine Pairing for Fig Tarts with Blue Cheese and Candied Walnuts
These tarts are fun to pair! The Port wine in the figs makes them a no-brainer to pair with a glass of Port. A nutty Tawny , often with fig characteristics of its own, would be awesome but a fruity Ruby Port would work too.
Perhaps less obvious would be a Sparkling wine. The pastry shells, the salty blue cheese would all complement a traditional method Sparkling wine (where you get the yeasty, bready autolysis notes).
A smooth Italian Gavi di Gavi or Soave would stand up well here too if you are serving these before a meal. An oaked, toasty Chardonnay would be good too.
A sweet Sauternes or Tokaj Aszú, (Hungary’s famous sweet wine and perhaps the world’s oldest) would both be divine with the pastry and sweet/savoury nutty bites during a dessert course. An aged Icewine would be another good combination.
For reds – something rich and fruity to complement the Port undertones here would be a good combination. Think fruity California Cabernet Sauvignon or Argentinian Malbec. If you have used mild blue cheese as suggested you could also consider a Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.
Fig Tarts with Blue Cheese and Walnuts
- 1/2 cup dried figs minced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsps butter
- 2 Tbsps Port or robust red wne
- 3 oz mild creamy blue cheese like Cambazola or Gorgonzola, crumbled
- 1/2 cup walnuts finely minced
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- Melt Butter and sugar in a non stick pan. Sprinkle the salt and cinnamon over the walnut pieces and stir up. Add the walnuts to the melted butter and sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. When sugar is fully melted and walnuts are coated slide the mixture out on to a piece of parchment paper.
- Spread the nuts in one layer with the wooden spoon and separate as much as you can. As nuts cool and the coating gets stiffer take the wooden spoon to break apart any clumps or clusters.
- Allow nuts to cool fully.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Bake the unfilled tart shells from frozen about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dissolve sugar and water in small saucepan. Add the butter and when melted add the minced figs.
- Allow mixture to cook over medium heat a few minutes until fig pieces just start to soften. Add the Port and allow mixture to bubble and reduce. When the sauce is thick like a glaze on the figs remove from heat.
- Distribute fig mixture evenly among hot tart shells. Evenly divide blue cheese and candied walnut pieces over the tarts. Return to oven and bake another 4-5 minutes till cheese is melted and tarts are golden brown on edges.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Tarts will keep a few days in the fridge and can be reheated gently. Tarts also freeze well anc can be reheated gently from frozen.