This cream puff dessert will appeal to sophisticated customers who appreciate England’s famous Stilton blue cheese along with a garnish of dried cherries in port wine.
Yield: 8 cream puffs
Cooking time: 1½ hours
Shelf life: best within a day of filling; shells, cheese and cherries may be prepared a day or two ahead of time
For the puffs:
- ¹⁄3 cup whole milk
- ¹⁄3 cup water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, beaten
For the cherries:
- ½ cup dried tart cherries
- ¼ cup port
- 3 tablespoons currant jelly
For the filling:
- 9 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled
- 1 pint heavy cream, chilled
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line a baking sheet with parchment. Fit a pastry bag (or plastic freezer bag with ½-inch opening cut from one bottom corner) with a plain ½-inch tip. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400 F.
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt and bring to a boil over medium. Add the flour all at once and reduce the heat to low. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until it is smooth, shiny and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Stir until slightly cooled, about 2 minutes. Add about a third of the beaten eggs, stirring vigorously until totally incorporated before adding the next third of the eggs. For the remaining egg, add all but about a tablespoon of the beaten egg to the dough and stir vigorously to incorporate. Reserve the extra egg to glaze the puffs.
- Spoon the mixture into the pastry bag and pipe out eight 2½-inch circular mounds, about 2 inches apart. Beat the remaining egg with a teaspoon of water and brush all over the surfaces of the puffs, taking care not to let it drip onto the parchment. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 F. and continue baking until the puffs are a deep golden brown, crisp and airy, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.
- While the puffs are baking, in a small pan combine the cherries, port and jelly. Bring to a boil over high heat, cook 1 minute and then set aside to cool.
- Beat the Stilton with a handheld electric mixer until smooth. Add the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla and beat into stiff peaks. Cover and refrigerate.
- Assemble the cream puffs: Using a serrated knife, carefully slice off the top third of each puff and, using your fingers, gently pull away any soft dough left inside.
- Scrape the Stilton filling into a large pastry bag fitted with a wide star tip and pipe into the bottoms of the cream puffs. Spoon the cherries onto the cream, return the tops and serve, or chill for up to 3 hours.
NUTRITIONAL DATA (per serving): Calories: 400; Cholesterol: 150 mg; Sodium: 670 mg; Fat: 27 g; Dietary Fiber: <1 g
Ingredient Cost Sheets
|¹⁄3 cup whole milk||$.08-.14|
|4 tablespoons unsalted butter||$.20-.34|
|½ teaspoon sugar||$.01-.02|
|2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour||$.11-.18|
|3 large eggs, beaten||$.30-.50|
|½ cup dried tart cherries||$1.87-3.12|
|¼ cup port||$.53-.88|
|3 tablespoons currant jelly||$.18-.30|
|9 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled||$4.04-6.73|
|1 pint heavy cream, chilled||$1.49-2.49|
|4 tablespoons sugar||$.07-.12|
|½ teaspoon vanilla extract||$.08-.13|