The whole Camembert was sat in the fridge, waiting to be eaten as I was waiting for inspiration.
Normally polishing off cheeses if a forte of mine, and my usual trick with Camembert is to bake it. Doing this is especially good after studding it with black garlic slivers, a coating of black pepper and a splash of white vino. But there’s only so much hot molten cheese that a girl can cope with, so I found myself searching for something different to do with it that would last longer than a single sitting.
A tart seemed ideal, and the trio of flavours balance one another very well indeed. There's real harmony between the salty olives, sweet bursts of apricot and the distinctive French soft cheese. And their combination is even better the day after baking (though letting it make it that far was a bit of a challenge).
The overall effect is pretty slinky and quite soft set, which feels extra luxurious when eaten. That said, I made the tart pretty rustic – olives just cut in half, finely diced apricot and the Camembert (including the rind) cut into long slices, but you could make the tart more refined if you wanted.
Do this simply by pureeing the apricots and adding them to the cream and eggs mix along with very finely minced black olives, and remove the rind from the cheese and dice it.
Makes one 9” tart
4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs
300mls single cream
1 whole Camembert, cut into long strips
120g dried apricots, finely diced
20 stoned black olives (not that have been kept in oil) split lengthways
1 packet of ready to roll short crust pastry (because lifes too short)
A generous scrunch of black pepper
Unsalted butter for greasing
Plain flour for dusting
Baking beans / rice
9” tart case
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees
Lightly grease your tart case
Lightly dust a work surface with plain flour, and roll out the pastry until it’s around 4mm thick
Drape the pastry inside the case, gently letting it settle into the corners and not stretching the pastry, use your knuckles to press the pastry into the corners very carefully, this is important in having a well shaped base that will hold all the filling
Trim the excess top edges of the pastry, I like to leave a little extra to allow for shrinkage in the oven, when its done you can simply shave off the excess if its not shrunk, using a very sharp knife to do so. Don’t prick the base of the case
Place baking paper into the case and fill with baking beans or rice and pop into the oven for 25 minutes
Whilst that’s happening, whisk together the eggs, cream and black pepper
Remove the case from the oven and take out the baking paper that’s holding all the beans / rice, put the case back into the oven for 5 minutes
Remove from the oven and pour a little of the egg mix into the base, then lay as much camembert as you can lengthways across the tart, top with the olives and apricots, then the remaining Camembert, and finally pour over the rest of the egg mixture
Carefully place into the oven for 25 minutes. Half way through cooking remove the tart and use a fork to poke any of the exposed rinds back under the surface
When the time is up (and don’t worry if the tart has inflated a bit in the oven, it will settle back down) give it a little shake and if the centre wobbles like it’s very wet then put it back in for five minutes. You’re looking for a little movement in the centre but not much