Blue Cheese Mousse with Pear and Pecan Nut Vinaigrette

The classic combo of blue cheese, pears and pecans is a winning one in this easy make-ahead starter from Claire Macdonald
By Claire Macdonald
Blue Cheese Mousse with Pear and Pecan Nut Vinaigrette
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 4 sheets gelatine
  • 450 g mild blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola
  • 300 ml full-fat crème fraîche
  • 300 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 egg whites

For the vinaigrette

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp mixed parsley and chives
  • 110 g pecans, chopped
  • 4 ripe pears

Method

1. Soak the gelatine in cold water for about 5 minutes, until softened.

2. Pour the stock into a saucepan and heat until warm. Squeeze any excess moisture form the gelatine leaves and add to the stock. Stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.

3. Put the blue cheese and crème fraiche into a food processor and pulse until just blended.

4. Add the cold stock and gelatine mixture, season to taste with pepper and nutmeg and pulse again until thoroughly combined.

5. Pour into a bowl and leave until the mixture starts to set.

6. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them quickly and thoroughly through the blue cheese mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl and leave for 1-2 hours to set.

7. Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and sugar together. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the herbs.

8. Heat a small frying pan and dry-fry the pecans for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Leave to cool.

9. Peel and core the pears and cut them in half. Slice thinly and arrange on top of the mousse. Scatter over pecan nuts and pour over all the vinaigrette. Serve straight away with Melba toast or Italian grissini.

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