Fairview……mention the name and immediately my mind conjures up beautiful white Saanens goats walking up and around a tower!! After that first thought comes the rest of what Fairview means to me. A lovely days outing eating in the Goatshed, tasting all the cheese and wines. Beautiful wines & beautiful cheeses. In fact some of the best cheeses produced locally as far as I am concerned. I discovered their Brie and Camembert a few years ago and love them. In fact if you look closely at the header photo on this blog you will see some oven baked camembert with thyme, white wine, olive oil and a drizzle of honey, a wonderful way to spend some time at the table, al fresco on a balmy evening, watching a glorious Cape sunset with a crisp white wine in hand and a bowl of oozing, seductive, creamy camembert cheese waiting to have some torn toasted pita or ciabatta or bread sticks dipped into its warmly inviting and gooey inside….bliss!! More recently I was also converted to White Rock with Apricots and Cranberries. When my turn comes round to host bookclub I make sure I have it on my cheeseboard and it is always the first cheese to disappear!! And Fairview Wines? Legendary. The farm has always been one of my favourite places to visit when we take a drive out to the wine farms. Our children used to love watching the goats and that famous tower and we are now looking forward to taking our grandsons to the farm one of these days to introduce them to the goats. It has been wonderful to watch over the years how the farm has developed to where it is today – still one of my favourite places.
So, when I saw that they were running a blogging iniative and promotion for their Camembert and inviting bloggers to participate it seemed only natural for me to enter and I am so glad that I am now a part of this exciting challenge. I wrote to them with about 6 ideas that I had, I was writing it all down so fast because my mind and imagination were in overdrive but sadly I could only choose one of those wonderful ideas that I came up with. I will of course do them all at some stage and blog about them when I do. But for now I present to you my
Caramelized Onion, Pear, Thyme & Camembert Tart with Pistachios & Pumpkin Seeds.
Such a mouthful….but such a delightfully yummy mouthful!
A browniegirl inspired recipe (serves 6 for a light meal)
200g Puff Pastry
2 Medium Red Onions – Peeled and sliced
10ml Olive Oil
Few Sprigs Fresh Thyme – leaves stripped off and stalks discarded
25ml Verlaque Wildflower Honey Balsamic Reduction
6 Soft Eating Sundried Bon Chretien Pears (from Woolworths)
125g Fairview Camembert - cut into 6 slices then each slice halved
50g Pistachios – dry toasted in a pan then roughly chopped and set aside
10g Pumpkin Seeds - dry toasted then set aside
50g Dried Cranberries
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Peppercorns
1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
50ml Fresh Whipping Cream
5ml Dijon Mustard
Finely grated Nutmeg & White Pepper
This is how I made them:
Place the onions & thyme into a deep heavy based frying pan together with the oil and butter and a dash of white wine. Allow to boil gently over a medium heat until the liquid has evaporated and the onions start sauteeing in the residual butter and oil. Saute until translucent and beginning to turn light gold then add the Balsamic Reduction and the Molasses together with a pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes, stir well to mix, reduce heat to low and allow to caramelize slowly for about 15 minutes or so. You can’t rush this part and you also need to watch it so that it does not burn. Allow to cool before using.
Preheat oven to 200 deg Celcius
Roll out your defrosted puff pastry (I used frozen store bought but if you have the time and energy do try to make your own) and then cut out your desired shape/s I made individual tartlets by cutting 12 indentical rounds of pastry using a fluted cutter. I then cut out the middles of 6 of the rounds using a smaller straight edged cutter so that I had 6 “rings” I patted the edges of the 6 remaining rounds with my fingers dipped in some milk and then placed the 6 rings gently on top of each round (the milk makes the layers stick together). Place the 6 tart cases onto a baking paper lined cookie sheet and brush the top edges with milk
Place a spoonful of the caramelized onions into each tart case, sprinkle around some chopped pistachios, pumpkin seeds and cranberries
Make a custard by whisking the egg, egg yolk, cream, mustard, nutmeg and pepper together
Pour about 5ml of the custard into each tart case then place one pear piece on top of each one
Bake for about 15 minutes on the middle oven rack then remove from oven, place 2 pieces of camembert on top of each pear, drizzle over a bit of the Balsamic Reduction and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until the cheese has started to ooze over the top of the tarts.
Garnish with some chopped pistachios, drizzle over a bit of fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil and serve with a green salad
Fairview’s La Capra Chardonnay, nicely chilled, was a wonderful accompaniment to this fabulous meal which we enjoyed al fresco on the patio under todays beautiful sunny skies.
Thank you Fairview for this challenge and allowing me to become creative with Camembert
Please visit the Fairview Blog and vote for my recipe. It is at No. 10 on the list. I am up against some serious food gurus and I need your votes please You may vote for 3 recipes so do go and visit all the other bloggers and see their contributions to this great event.