Caramelised Pear and Blue Cheese Choux Puffs


This is a recipe I came up with myself based on a pizza I had in Toronto that has haunted me to this day. Sharp blue cheese with sweet pear is a match made in heaven and these buns are certainly something I will be bringing to every cheese and wine night from now on. Although, they are not much to look at.
I also experimented with goats cheese which was really nice, but for my tastebuds blue cheese just won.
For 12
50 g unsalted butter
80 ml FULL FAT milk
80 ml water
130g plain flour
2 eggs
generous pack of blue cheese (I like gorgonzola or the soft Castello cheese available in England, but any soft-ish blue cheese will do)
3 pears
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Grease a baking tray with butter and cover with baking parchment. The butter underneath helps prevent the parchment slipping when piping.
Preheat the oven to 220*
Melt 50g butter with 40ml milk and 40ml water in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter is melted and the liquid is scalding, pour the 130g plain flour in all at once and beat manically for 2-3 minutes. It should come together to form a dough relatively quickly and may sizzle. Make sure to beat it for 2-3 minutes as this is important for the gluten structure and rise.
Leave to cool, then beat 2 eggs into the dough. By the time you add the second egg, you should be able to mix the dough into a glossy thick paste. A hand-held balloon whisk is all you need for this job, nothing stronger.
Fill a piping bag and pipe into circles about 5-6 cm in diameter.
Put in the oven and do not open the door again! (they are private little buggers). Cook for 15 minutes at 220* and then lower the temperature to 160* and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Whilst they bake, caramelise the pears. Peel and cut the pears into thin slices. Melt some butter over high heat in a pan then add the pears, smothered in 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Let bubble and caramelise. Turn the slices over after approximately 3 minutes, then cook for a further 3 minutes. When done, they should be golden brown and soft.
Now for construction. When the buns come out of the oven slice open with a serrated knife whilst still hot. Full the hollows of the buns with thick wedges of cheese, then sandwich a slice of pear in-between, before sticking back together.
cheese pear choux

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