Stilton Cheesecake Tarts with Rhubarb Pink Peppercorn Compote and Walnut Crumble

Before you wrinkle your nose and leave my site, let me quickly tell you that this combination is very, very good. I probably wouldn’t serve it to toddlers; I doubt they will appreciate it. But a more mature audience will be certainly pleased.

My big thanks to my dear friend Olga who provides me with fresh rhubarb from her garden every season.

Makes six 4-inch tarts

For the tart crusts:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 ½ oz cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and frozen for 20 minutes.
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Stilton cheesecake filling (adapted from Michael Noble):

  • 4 oz Stilton cheese, at room temperature
  • 12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup fine granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 oz sour cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the rhubarb compote (adapted from Michael Noble):

  • ½ cup Port
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Heaped ½ tsp pink peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 2 lb trimmed rhubarb, cut into ½-inch cubes

For the walnut crumble:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 oz (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 6 tbsp ground walnuts

Make the tart crusts:

Combine the flour, icing sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl lightly whisk the yolks and vanilla together. Dribble the yolk mixture through the processor tube while pulsing until clumps form. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly just to incorporate any dry ingredients that haven’t been mixed in. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Butter 6 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. On lightly floured surface or on parchment paper, roll the dough into 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into circles a couple inches larger than the tart pans. Carefully transfer the rolled dough into the prepared pans and press the dough onto the bottoms and up the sides of the pans. Cut the excess of the dough. Dock the bottoms of the crusts with a fork and freeze for at least 30 minutes. If you are not planning to bake right away, wrap the crusts tightly and keep in the freezer until needed. Do not defrost before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the frozen crusts with parchment paper, then with dry beans or pie weights. Bake for about 15 minutes, until set. Carefully remove the parchment and bake the crusts for another 10-12 minutes until light golden. Transfer the crusts in its pans to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature before filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.

Make the Stilton cheesecake filling:

Process the Stilton cheese in the food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese and pulse several times until well combined and creamy. Gradually incorporate the sugar, followed by the flour, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla, pulsing briefly; don’t overprocess. Divide the filling between the cooled prebaked tart shells, filling them just a little below the rim. Bake for 15 minutes or until just set but not browned. Cool in the tart pans on a cooling rack, then refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Make the rhubarb compote:

In a large skillet, combine the port, sugar, and crushed peppercorns. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the rhubarb and cook for about 10 to 14 minutes, stirring gently occasionally, until tender but not falling apart. Drain the rhubarb and transfer it to a bowl; reserve the liquid. Return the poaching liquid back into the skillet and simmer until it’s reduced and syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Pour the port reduction over the poached rhubarb, gently stir to combine. Cool. Refrigerate up to 2 days in an air-tight container.

Make the walnut crumble:

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, both sugars, salt, and cinnamon. Add the cubes of cold butter and work them into the flour using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the ground walnuts.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat and sprinkle the crumbs over the sheet.

Transfer into the refrigerator while the oven is preheating.

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F.

Bake the streusel crumbs for about 12 minutes, until they are light golden. Gently stir the crumbs and bake for another 5-6 minutes until nicely browned.

Cool on the baking sheet on a rack. Can be made several days in advance. Store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Assemble the tarts:

Generously top each cheesecake tart with rhubarb compote, sprinkle the walnut crumble over the top and serve.

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27 Responses to “Stilton Cheesecake Tarts with Rhubarb Pink Peppercorn Compote and Walnut Crumble”

  1. An interesting and unusual combination! I’d eat those tartlets with pleasure! Very pretty…

    The combo apples and cheddar is good too.

    cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Ok Vera! I’ll believe you! :) But I must mention that I have never tasted that pink beauty Rhubarb till date!! We don’t find them in India! But your tarts are so beautiful!! Even if I don’t like the taste I might just eat them because they are so pretty!! I have the habit of eating pretty desserts :)

  3. what a nice tart. Great combo :)

  4. Your tarts are beautiful! And with stilton!!! It’s very unusual… why not! Thank you sharing!

  5. Sounds like a fun combination to me! :-D

  6. New combinations intrigue me no end. Just gorgeous as ever Vera. How sweet Olga is. YAY for her. No Stilton & no rhubarb in India, so I shall just feast my eyes on these beauties! O BTW, just made fresh ricotta off your blog again. HELP…I need to stop eating it. It’s SO GOOD!!

  7. Far from being put off, I was immediately attracted the second I saw the words “stilton” and “cheesecake”. I love cheesecake. I love blue cheese. I never would have thought to incorporate one into the other, and now I’m wondering why not: it must taste amazing! All the more so as a tart!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Looks amazing! I love stilton and would never have thought to use it like this–so creative!

  9. i’ve definitely never had a stilton cheesecake OR peppercorns involved in a dessert in any way. that’s not to say i wouldn’t try it and enjoy it immensely. :) beautiful!

  10. This is such an amazing combination! I’d never have thought of a stilton cheesecake (not to mention the rest of it) but you make it look incredible. I’m curious to try it!

  11. there’s something for you at jugalbandi. congrats!!!

  12. Vey elegant but conforting dessert! That crust looks about perfect!

  13. Now this is an interesting cheesecake! I’m a huge fan of Stilton and together with rhubarb, cinnamon and port -I’m craving it!

  14. This is great dessert for big events! Even picky guests will surely love this.

  15. Thank you all, for your comments! I am so glad the idea seemed appealing to you :)

  16. Absolument magnifique!
    Quelle association de saveurs inusitées.
    J’en prendrais bien une bouchée…

  17. Beautiful, Vera. And how creative. The stilton looks so creamy in the pictures. Love your crust. And the rhubarb, yum! It looks beautiful; cooked but not mushy (which is very easy to do – been there!). I think your idea of baking the crumble separately is just brilliant! Keeps it from getting soggy. As always, great job!!!

  18. OMG Vera
    this is an awesome combination…
    perfect dough, stuffing and topping
    thanks so much for sharing this recipe

  19. That looks delicious!!

  20. This looks delicious. The pictures are great. It looks and sounds so sophisticated and yet it also looks cozily reminiscent of a homey fruit crisp at the same time–I love it!

    I was curious, so I looked up the original recipe by Michale Noble (Epicurious). I see he baked this as a large cheesecake and carmelized sugar on top with a blowtorch. Presumably the compote was served on the side (?).

    I like your idea of making small tarts and serving the compote on top with a crumble topping. Very clever reworking of this cheesecake.

  21. Vera,
    thank you so much for the birthday wishes. It means a lot to me. Thank you…

    This tart is really incredibly good looking, sounds delicious too with stilton cheese. I would never thought of putting this cheese for sweet tart, perhaps it is common in England?

  22. Ohhhhh, this sounds fabulous. I love the sharp taste of Stilton, and would love to try this. I’m not the biggest fan of regular cheesecake as it’s so sweet but I think this flavour would cut that beautifully. Lovely, lovely!

  23. That sounds very, very interesting and tasty. What a great and innovative combination of ingredients!

    Greetings,
    Tiina

  24. I think that sounds absolutely fabulous – what an unusual and interesting combination. And it looks so beautiful!

  25. oohh wow!! beautiful tarts!! this is an awesome combination for my mama, she loves stilton and rhubarb! just showed it to her and she is like deeleeeciousssly gorgeous!!..

  26. Thank you all, for the kind words!

    Elra, I’ve never heard if it’s common in England; Stilton itself is certainly is :)

    Julia, you are right, there’s well enough saltiness in this recipe :)

  27. I’m curious how it tastes….love all ingredients but never tasted the combination…

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