Pear and Stinking Bishop Tartlets

September brings us Organic Food Fortnight (3-17 Sept). But I have plumped for British Food Fortnight (18 Sept-3 Oct) and British Cheese Week (25 Sept-3 Oct).

If you have never encountered Stinking Bishop, be ready for a very mature cheesy smell! The taste is exquisite!

Ingredients - Makes six 4in (10cm) deep, loose-based tart tins

For the pastry  
9oz (250g) plain flour 1oz (25g) caster sugar
5oz (150g) chilled butter, cubed 1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten
For the filling  
1oz (25g) butter 10fl oz (284ml) single cream
1 tsp caster sugar salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg 1 large egg yolk
3 small dessert pears, peeled, quartered, core removed, sliced 3 small dessert pears, peeled, quartered, core removed, sliced
4oz (110g) Stinking Bishop cheese, rind removed, chopped into small cubes


  1. Make the pastry by the usual method.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, divide into six equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Roll out each ball of dough to line the six tins. Trim the excess pastry from the edges, then press around the sides gently until the pastry extends 2.5cm/1in above the edge of each tin. Place onto a baking tray and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  4. Place a circle of baking parchment in the base of each tart and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice and bake blind for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the baking beans and parchment return to the oven to bake for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown and just cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/360F/Gas 4.
  7. For the filling, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pears and fry for 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned.
  8. Add the sugar and cook the pears for a further 1-2 minutes, until caramelised and golden-brown. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool for a few minutes.
  9. Whisk the egg, egg yolk and cream together in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. Place equal amounts of the pear slices and pieces of the cheese loosely into the pastry cases but don't overfill.
  11. Pour the egg and cream mixture into each tart until it almost reaches the top of the pastry.
  12. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the filling is just set - it should wobble a little.
  13. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before serving.

My Official Taster would eat these until the cows came home. The caramalised pear and Stinking Bishop make a wonderful partnership. We bought extra too to enjoy with crackers and a good English wine. Bliss!


cooking pears


Stinking Bishop Cheese