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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Blue cheese and fig preserve biscuits

I made these for a holiday party at work. Pretty straight forward recipe, although I made two small changes. I thought walnuts would be a good addition and so added them as a topping, but because the biscuits are so small, the nuts had to be chopped smaller than desirable. (Unless you put one large piece on, which might look better.) I also sprinkled some kosher salt onto the jam after baking to elevate the sweet/salty thing going on. I added nutmeg, but I'm not sure it was detectable.

My changes are shown in italics. Here's what I used:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled  (I used Trader Joe's crumbled blue cheese.)
ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
fig preserves (about 3 tablespoons)
chopped walnuts (optional)
kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the flour, baking powder, butter, blue cheese, black pepper, and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the dough just comes together and starts to form a ball.  Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to pull the dough together. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick with a floured rolling pin. Cut rounds out of the dough with a floured 1-inch cutter and transfer the rounds to an ungreased baking sheet.  Using the back of a round half-teaspoon measure or your knuckle, make an indention in the top of each dough round. Spoon about 1/4 teaspoon of fig preserves into each indention, using your finger to push the preserves as best as possible into the indentations.  Sprinkle walnuts on top of preserves, if using.  Bake the savories for 10 – 14 minutes (mine were perfect at 12), until the pastry is just turning light golden around the edges.  Sprinkle preserves with kosher salt.  Let cool on the baking sheet until firm enough to handle, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

These were very easy to make, but were a bit time consuming.  I hesitated in using the full 1/4 teaspoon of jam because I was afraid it would melt and run, but it didn't melt much at all.  (It also never got "bubbly" as the original recipe suggests.)  Furthermore, the cheese is a little bitter, so the sweetness is necessary.  Don't skim on the jam.  The added salt on top also helped cut the bitterness and was a good addition. 

Conclusion:  These were a hit, although I found them a bit dry (the kind that sucks the moisture out of your mouth) and I detected the cheese only as bitterness and not really as "cheese".  Perhaps a different brand or style would produce a different result. Apricot jam would also be a good choice.

Recipe:   Blue Cheese and Fig Savouries via The Runaway Spoon

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