Stop Wasting Your Cheese on Crackers

Because it really belongs on pie. Specifically this pie. Well, crostata really, because it’s not actually in a pan. That’s one of the great things about pie; it doesn’t have to be baked in a pan. Another is that it can combine truly unique ingredients and still work beautifully!

Everyone in this household loves cheese. By this I mean we travel to our local wine & cheese shop —conveniently owned by the father of one of my daughter’s friends!— and allow him to ply us with cheese. Trips to his shop tend to take the better part of an hour, in part because he likes to ask questions about our favorites and then make even more recommendations from the answers. Every cheese in his shop is available for sampling. Every one. No kidding! To his credit, we always leave with at least a pound of cheese.

After one such visit we walked into our home bearing a half pound wedge of White Stilton with Mango and Ginger. White Stilton is cousin to blue, but without the mold introduced. We found the cheese to be a perfect dessert by itself and quickly came up with excuses to snack on it. A somewhat hard cheese, it’s delicate and a bit crumbly, the flavor somewhat yogurt-like and sweet, pairing beautifully with fruit. We’ve tried white Stiltons with cranberries and with apricots. Both were good also, however the mango-ginger combination is a clear winner. Luckily, after the continual snacking and with the unseasonably warm weather this year extending summer produce, just enough of the cheese remained for this crostata.

I used a pie crust, just rolling it right out like I would for a pie:

 
 

As you can see, I used almond meal giving it a less creamy texture than frangipane usually has. If you use almond flour or pulse the almonds and sugar (very carefully and not for too long!), a creamier texture will result.

 
 

The frangipane was spread onto the dough, leaving about a two inch border.

 

 

Now it’s time for the nectarines and Stilton. Then fold the crust up around the filling; pleating the dough helps to hold it in place. A light sprinkle of sliced almond finishes it off beautifully.

 
 

After a short bake in the oven:

 
 

Nectarine and White Stilton Crostata (printer friendly recipe)

 
Ingredients
Your favorite pie pastry (enough for one single shell pie)
 
frangipane:
1/2 cup Almond Flour
3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 large Egg
3 tablespoons Butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
2 pinches Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Flour
 
3 medium Nectarines, sliced into segments
1/8 teaspoon Ginger
1-2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar

2-3 ounces white stilton (plain or with mango and ginger)
Sliced almonds
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375F.
 
Toss nectarine slices with ginger and 1-2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Roll crust as you would for a pie. You may find it easiest to just roll this on parchment or on a cookie sheet so the crostata can be transferred with minimal effort.
 
Combine frangipane ingredients in a food processor until creamy.
 
Spread frangipane on pastry, leaving a two inch border. Arrange nectarines in concentric circles on top of the filling, and crumble the stilton on top of the fruit.
 
Fold the pie pastry over onto the filling, pleating it as you go so that it lies flat. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Transfer crostata to sheet cake pan.
 
Bake at 375F for 20-30 minutes, until crust is golden and fruit is tender.

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2 responses to “Stop Wasting Your Cheese on Crackers

  1. Ohmigosh this look so good!!!! And I’m starving!

  2. Oh my goodness Alyssa! It’s making me crazy looking at the photo. I’m such a cheese freak and have never tried Stilton, although it is definitely on my list to try.

    What a special recipe. Definitely a show stopper.

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