This savory Blue Cheese Grape Tart recipe has bold and interesting flavors. It makes a great appetizer or a decadent lunch paired with a green salad.
One of my favorite things to do is remake restaurant items. I’ve been wanting to make the Blue Cheese & Grape Tart from Vintij restaurant in Destin for a long time. Vin’tij Food & Wine is an award-
The tart has a red wine crust that’s filled with mild blue cheese, grapes, and candied walnuts. It’s served with microgreens and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. It is the perfect combination of tart, sweet, pungent, crunchy, and creamy! And, it’s very rich so it’s definitely a meal starter or party appetizer.
With help from our waitress and experimentation, I pieced together the main components of the tart that I have had trouble getting just right. After a couple of tries, I think I’ve mastered their recipe.
This recipe is not difficult but it does take a little time to complete. The butter and shortening need to be super cold if not frozen. Next, once you mix the crust together it needs to be refrigerated. As well, making candied walnuts takes about 30 minutes. They can be made while the crust is chilling.
The crust is exceptionally flaky and crispy. I used my Never Fail Pie Crust and substitute red wine for the water in the recipe. That’s the only change I made.
If you love blue cheese, you’ll absolutely flip over this tart recipe. If you’re not, I provide alternatives that are just as good, maybe better!
BLUE CHEESE GRAPE TART RECIPE TIPS
There are a few tips that I’ve learned
- If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, you will not like this recipe.
- However, you can substitute feta or goat cheese for a sharp taste. As well, Havarti, Manchego, and brie offer a creamy and mild flavor.
- You can use almonds or pecans instead of the walnuts.
- As well, you don’t have to use candied nuts. However, the sweetness offers a nice contrast to the bold cheese flavor.
- Here’s my recipe for Candied Pecans, simply substitute walnuts and omit the cinnamon. Or, you can purchase candied walnuts here.
- If you prefer, you can toast the nuts instead of candying them.
- I suppose they use grapes to pair with the red wine used in the crust. However, you can use any fruit. Raspberries, strawberries, or figs would be lovely.
- If you don’t want to make the crust from scratch, you can use a premade pie crust. I would use the one that is rolled up and fit it in a tart pan rather than a pie pan.
- Balsamic reduction is a must in my opinion. You can make it easy, here’s my recipe, or you can buy it here.
One of the things I like best about tarts is they can be baked several hours ahead, left at room temperature, and then quickly reheated. This feature makes them great for entertaining!
Blue Cheese Grape Tart
- 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour sifted and measured correctly
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted, very cold
- 5 tablespoons shortening very cold or frozen
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons red wine cold
- 10-12 ounces blue cheese mild (or see post above for substitutions.)
- 1 cup grapes red seedless, halved
- 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction
- 1 cup walnuts candied
- mint or basil leaves for garnish
- Cut the butter and shortening into cubes. Freeze 30 minutes beforehand.
- Add salt and pulse 3 times for 3 counts each time.
- With the processor running, pour cold red wine into the bowl. Process just until the dough begins to get crumbly. Do not wait until it's a big clump. It will be way too moist at that point and will be tough.
- Stop the processor and dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Using your hands, press the dough into a ball squeezing if necessary to make it stick together.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll it out on a cool surface if possible (This will prevent the fat from melting.) Press into a 11-inch tart pan. Or, if you're not ready to fill it with the tart ingredients yet, refrigerate the crust until you get them ready.
- In a 12-inch skillet, bring nuts, sugar, and water to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a low boil and cook stirring until syrup mixture has caramelized and the nuts are well coated. This will take 8 to 10 minutes.
- Bake in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes. Stir and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven, stir and allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Roll out the pastry dough into an 11-inch tart pan. Cut off the extra around the edges. Poke the pastry with a fork to create small holes. Bake pastry crust 7 to 8 minutes at 375° or until it starts to brown. Remove from the oven.
- Slice or crumble cheese and evenly spread it over the crust. Spread halved grapes randomly over cheese. Spread walnuts over cheese.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and pastry edges are browned.
- Remove from oven and cool 5 to 10 minutes. Before serving drizzle balsamic reduction and mint or basil over tart.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. The tart can be reheated. It'll be good for about 2 days then the grapes tend to break down.