Four Tarts and a Cheese Festival

I have wanted to go to the South African Cheese Festival for years but it just never happened. I think mainly because we lived miles away.  Now that we live around the corner, I finally made it. Thanks to Food Blog Cape Town I won myself a set of tickets with my cheesy pick-up line.
If you know me, you know I love festivals. I also have a soft spot for cheese. I believe the word for people like me is “Turophile“.
I love sharp, mature and crumbly cheeses. Mature cheddar, pecorino and mild blue cheese are my favourites but I like the lighter cheeses too. Ok, so the only cheese I am not too keen on, is goat’s cheese.
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So off to market we went! On entering the gates we grabbed our ‘goodie’ bags and went straight to the Dairy Square. I had my eye on the Checkers Cheese Emporium – only to realise the place was already abuzz with avid tasters inside the marquees. We decided to wait awhile for the frenzy to fade slightly, so we went for some coffee and gorgeous pastries  from Knead. Nothing was fading at all at the cheese festival, in fact it just got busier, so we joined the crowds. I was more interested in tasting and buying some of the new cheeses and delicacies, so we first went to the stalls sponsored by ABSA.
Ten new artisan cheese-makers had the opportunity to present their cheeses at the festival this year. My favourite by far was Langbaken Karoo Cheese. Peter and Francy Schoeman from Williston were newcomers to the festival with some fantastic tasting cheeses. I bought the Langbaken Blue, and their Camembert but I wish I had bought them all.
I also indulged in some decadent olives from Chrisna’s Olives. She makes the most divine roasted olives, so I naturally bought myself a couple of parcels there.
It goes without saying that there was plenty of wine and bread to compliment the cheese. Tasty meals were on sale outside in the Carnival Park for those wanting something more substantial as well. Great chilling music was playing in the background  and the very popular Checkers Cheese Theatre with a host of celebrities entertaining the foodies was a winner.
We had a fantastic day. It got chillier later in the afternoon so we came home – MUCH poorer in the pocket but richer in flavour.
Inspired by all this cheese and as always dying to try new tricks with photography, I couldn’t wait to use my new mini-loaf tins and newly acquired props. I normally make tarts or Quiche in a large baking tin, but when I saw these individual ones, I had to get them. This way, I can make a variety, use the same basic creamy mix and doll them up them with different fillings. I am liking the idea of ‘individual servings’  lately. I must say, when the kids start leaving home and the family gets smaller, it takes a bit of practice to go from cooking for an army to cooking for four.

Four Tarts were waiting for attention!
Here is the recipe for the basic creamy mix and different fillings I used.
I did not use the cheese I bought at the Festival. That was savoured on its own and was completely finished by the time I made these. I will just have to get me some more at the market…soon!
Here is Langbaken Blue, enjoyed with some cranberry juice at the beach. Delish!
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Click on the different tabs to see the ingredients and image.

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[tabgroup][tab heading=’1 Blue Cheese and Caramelised Onions’ formatter=’1′][image img=’’ align=’left’ border=’true’]Ingredients:
2 – 3 tsp crumbled blue cheese
2 – 3 tsp caramelised onions (or store-bought dried caramelised onions)[/tab] [tab heading=’2 Anchovies and Olives Tart’ formatter=’2′][image img=’’ border=’true’]Ingredients:
3 -4 fillets of tinned anchovies
5 -7 olives, de-pitted[/tab] [/tabgroup]
[col2_last formatter=’1′]
[tabgroup][tab heading=’3 Sun-dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese Tart’ formatter=’1′][image img=’’ align=’left’ border=’true’]Ingredients:
3-4 slices sun-dried tomatoes
Feta cheese – lots.[/tab]
[tab heading=’4 Camembert, Gooseberry Jam and Presunto Tart’ formatter=’2′][image img=’’ align=’left’ border=’true’]Ingredients:
2-3 slices presunto
Dollop of gooseberry jam
Camembert cheese – only the inside of the cheese[/tab]

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