Nearly any type of blue cheese can be used to make these tartlets. The trick is to add enough half-and-half or milk to make a spreadable paste that will cover the pastry smoothly. I like to use bleu d’Auvergne, which is moderately strong in flavor and blends well with the splash of dairy.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle about
In a small bowl, using a fork, mash together the cheese and half-and-half, and then mix in the walnuts. Spread one-fourth of the cheese mixture over the bottom of each tartlet shell. Arrange the fig slices on top in a single layer, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with the pepper and thyme, and drizzle with the olive oil. Place the tartlets in the freezer for 10 minutes to help the pastry puff nicely when it bakes.
Bake the tartlets until the crust is lightly golden and the figs are soft, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove the tartlets from the pan and serve warm or at room temperature.
© 2013 All rights reserved. Published by Weldon Owen.