If you're like Todd and I, you find yourselves in the weeks after Christmas harbouring an inevitable glut of Stilton cheese and walnuts leftover from the holidays.
Whilst it is a well known fact that these go very well together in a salad, especially when you add some sliced ripe pear as a sweet flavour to counteract the salty tang of the cheese and bitter crunch of the walnuts . . . I would like to suggest a novel and unique way to use all three.
Try adding some chopped dates and baking them together in a deliciously sweet/savoury muffin!!!! No, I'm not crazy.
Seriously, these are wondefully tasty. Each moist bite bringing you the subtle flavour of pears, well rounded and sweet, accentuated by the dates . . . the perfect mix with the stronger slightly salty flavour of the Stilton . . . the walnuts adding a tasty crunch.
I know you are probably thinking . . . can this possibly work? All this in a muffin???
Don't doubt me. These are incredibly delicious. You need to make them today . . .
and then you'll have to make them again tomorrow coz they'll be inhaled in the blink of an eye and you'll be wanting more.
Would I lie? I think not!
*Pear, Date and Stilton Muffins*
One of the best muffins ever. The pear provides a subtle flavour, the dates a lovely sweetness, a delicious contrast to the stronger, slightly salty flavour of the Stilton cheese. Fabulous, just fabulous. They make a great breakfast, lovely light lunch with a salad on the side or even a quirky addition to your cheeseboard at dinner! You will want to make these again and again.
340g plain flour (a scant 2 1/2 cups or 12 ounces)
170g caster sugar (a scant 1 1/4 cups or 6 ounces)
1 TBS baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
220g tin of pears in juice, drained
100g sunflower oil (3 1/2 ounces)
2 large eggs
50g pitted dates, chopped (about 2 ounces)
70g stilton cheese, crumbled (2 1/2 ounces)
50g of chopped toasted walnuts (1 3/4 ounces)
12 walnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Line a 12 cup medium/large muffin tin with paper liners, or butter well and flour lightly. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
Puree the drained pears in a blender or food processor and then scrape into a medium sized bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the oil and eggs until well combined.
Add the pear mixture to the dry mixture, folding together with a metal spoon, just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the dates, cheese and chopped toasted walnuts. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups dividing it equally amongst the 12 cups. Sprinkle the 12 chopped walnuts on top evenly.
Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, until well risen and a deep golden brown. The tops should spring back when gently touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a bit before serving. Delicious!