Beenleigh blue, spinach and bacon tart – cheese-maker Ben Harris’s recipe

beenliegh-blue-tart-cheese-recipeCheese-maker Ben Harris of Ticklemore Cheese has a favourite way to cook his Beenleigh Blue cheese: “This recipe is one way I love to eat Beenleigh blue, although my favourite way to have our cheese is just with some biscuits and onion marmalade…”

Ingredients (for eight people)
For the pastry
200g plain flour
100g butter
1 tsp salt
1 egg

For the filling
225g young spinach
225g bacon
1 shallot
225g Beenleigh Blue cheese, cubed
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
3 eggs, separated yolk from white
400ml milk
40g unsalted butter
40g plain flour
Oil for frying
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C
For the pastry: place the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse until the butter is incorporated.  Add the egg and process into a ball.  Roll and line a buttered tart tin and refrigerate.
For the filling: chop the bacon into small pieces and fry off in a little oil until slightly
the béchamel sauce: melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the flour and cook to a foam over a low heat.  Add seasoning and whisk in the milk (discarding the shallot) until the sauce thickens.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the egg yolks, grated Parmesan and one-third of the fried bacon, and beat together.
Blanch the baby spinach in boiling, salted water for 1 minute.  Drain and squeeze out any excess liquid.
Scald the milk with the shallot and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
Bake the tart case blind for 5 minutes or until the surface of the pastry looks dry.  Remove from the oven and spread the spinach and remaining two-thirds of the fried bacon across the base
a pinch of salt to the egg whites and use a hand whisk to bring to stiff peaks.  Fold the béchamel sauce and cubes of Beenleigh Blue cheese into the whites with a metal spoon using a cutting/folding action.  Check the seasoning.
Spread the mixture over the spinach and bacon and return to the oven for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden.

Andy and Kathy’s comment
“You can tell Ben used to be a chef!  The tart has a lovely subtle flavour and goes well with a mixed salad and crusty bread or new potatoes.  We used shortcrust pastry which had been made the previous day.”

This recipe is one in a collection of recipes gleaned by The Courtyard Dairy from the cheese-makers themselves, detailing how they love to make amazing dishes with the odds and ends of cheese! View more cheese-maker’s recipes here.

Click here to buy Beenleigh Blue cheese online via mail order from The Courtyard Dairy.


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