Proper chilling makes the pastry dough flaky. Use it for quiches, hors d’oeuvre shells, and custards as well as this rich tart. The dough can be made up to 24 hours ahead.
• 1 recipe Pastry Dough (below)
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 12 large fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
• Salt and ground white pepper
• 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 3 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled
• 1/3 cup whipping cream
• 1 egg yolk
• 1-1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
• 1 recipe Chive Beurre Blanc (below)
• 1 medium ripe Bosc pear, cored, sliced in thin wedges
• 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat six 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Cut six 6-inch rounds of parchment paper*; set aside. Roll out Pastry Dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into six 5-1/2 inch circles, rerolling scraps as needed. Press each circle into sides and bottom of prepared tart pans. Place parchment round on top of each tartlet; fill with dry beans or pie weights.
Bake 25 minutes or until pastry is set and lightly browned. Remove beans or pie weights and parchment paper.
In large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook 1 minute on each side, searing shrimp, but not cooking through. Remove from skillet to plate; season to taste with salt and white pepper.
In medium bowl combine cream cheese and Stilton cheese. Beat with electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Add whipping cream, egg yolk, and 1/2 teaspoon parsley. Beat until combined. Season with salt and white pepper.
Divide cheese mixture between tart pans. Place two shrimp on each tartlet. Place tartlets on baking sheet; bake 35 minutes or until golden and set.
To serve, remove sides of tart pans. Place each tartlet in center of plate; surround with a few tablespoons of Chive Buerre Blanc, pear wedges, and pine nuts. Sprinkle remaining parsley. Makes 6 servings.
In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Cut 4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter into fine cubes; mix into flour until mixture resembles fine meal. Add 1/3 cup shortening; mix 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup cold water; mix just until combined (do not overwork). (Or in medium bowl combine flour and salt. Using pastry blender cut in butter and shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over part of flour mixture; gently toss with fork. Push moistened pastry to sides of bowl. Repeat moistening flour mixture, using 1 tablespoon water at a time, until all the flour mixture is moistened. Form into ball.)
Remove from mixer; form into ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Chive Beurre Blanc:
Bring 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut up, to room temperature (about 30 minutes). In small saucepan heat 1-1/2 teaspoons canola oil over medium heat. Cook and stir 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 2 minutes (do not let brown). Add 1/4 cup white wine and 1 tablespoon dry white wine vinegar. Simmer until most liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally (do not let brown). Add 1/4 cup whipping cream; simmer until liquid has reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; whisk in butter until well incorporated. Strain through fine mesh strainer into small bowl, discarding solids. Season to taste with salt and ground white pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives. Keep warm until ready to serve.
*Alternatively, tartlet pans can be lined with double thickness of aluminum foil.