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Fennel and Roquefort Tart is an elegant appetizer or light meal flavored with Roquefort cheese and fennel, from the doyenne of French cooking, Anne Willan.

Total time

0 minutes


  • 1½ lb (750 g) fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 oz (175g) Roquefort cheese (crumbled)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ (125 ml) cup milk
  • ¼ (60 ml) cup heavy cream
  • of nutmeg
  • baked pastry shell in a 10 inch tart pan (I used an unbaked crust, recipe


  1. Set oven to 375F
  2. Prepare fennel filling: Heat butter in a frying pan and add fennel, thyme, salt and pepper -- use very little salt as the cheese will be salty. Press a piece of buttered foil on top, cover and sweat the fennel, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not brown, 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the custard: Whisk egg, egg yolk, milk, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl just until mixed.
  3. When fennel is soft, add Roquefort cheese and stir to melt the cheese. (I skipped this step because I thought the cheese would be nicer if left crumbled to melt as the tart baked, partly for texture and partly for taste) Spread mixture evenly in base of pastry shell and pour over custard. Gently mix fennel and custard with a fork.
  4. Bake the tart in heated oven until done, 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly before un-molding. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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