Mary Berry’s blue cheese and fig filo tartlets

These sophisticated little bites are deceptively simple to make – and most of the preparation can be done in advance.

Mary Berry blue cheese and fig filo tartlets
Jean Cazals

MAKES 24 TARTLETS

4 sheets of filo pastry measuring 25cm square
a little melted butter
3 ripe figs, chopped into small pieces
100g creamy blue cheese, such as Dolcelatte or Roquefort
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 sage leaves, chopped
ground mild paprika, to dust
freshly ground black pepper

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Grease a 24-hole mini muffin tray, or two 12-hole mini muffin trays, with melted butter.

Step 2 Lay two filo sheets flat on a board and brush them with melted butter, then place one on top of the other. Cut into 25 x 5cm squares. Repeat with the other two sheets. Put two squares on top of each other to make a star shape, and press into the prepared muffin tins. Repeat with the remaining sheets of pastry to make 24 mini tartlets (you will have one spare).

Step 3 Divide the figs between the filo cases. Put the cheese, lemon juice and sage into a bowl. Mash down with a fork, season with pepper, then spoon blobs of cheese mixture on top of the figs. Sprinkle lightly with paprika and more pepper.

Step 4 Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden and crisp, and the cheese has just melted. 

PREPARE AHEAD Bake the filo cases up to 1 day ahead. Make the filling and chill in the fridge for up to 8 hours, then fill the cases on the day.

TIP Ripe figs are delicious, but if they have tough skins, scoop the flesh away from the skin and chop. If figs are not in season use a pear, peeled and diced, then tossed in lemon juice.

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 Our recipes today are edited extracts taken from Mary Berry Cooks (BBC Books, £25 – our price £20), Mary Berry’s Simple Cakes (BBC Books, £14.99 – our price £12) and Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection (Headline, £25 – our price £20). To order copies at these reduced prices with free p&p until 22 December, call 01603 648155 or go to mailshop.co.uk.