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Royal Bassett Blue cheese beignets, caramelised pear, waltnut pastry, petit salad, sweet and sour dressing


Recipe by Russell Hunt, Head Chef, Marsh Farm Hotel, Royal Wootton Bassett

This recipe uses classic combinations prepared in an intresting way, and is packed with flavour and texture.It's a simple thing to do well to impress your family and friends.

Ceri Cryer, Brinkworth Daiy. "Royal Basset Blue was the cheese I wanted to develop when we first started and we have now perfected it. It won its first award in 2014 for Best Cheese at the Taste of the West Awards."


This recipe is taken from our recipe book: A Taste of the West Country 2015 produced by our publishing partner We Make Magazines Ltd

Photography © David Griffin Photography


  • For the beignets
  • 140ml full fat milk
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 115g plain flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 120g Royal Basset Blue cheese
  • Sea salt to taste
  • For the caramelised pear
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 500ml water
  • 1 firm pear
  • For the walnut pastry
  • 50g crushed toasted walnuts
  • 2 sheets feuille de brick pastry
  • 25g butter
  • For the dressing
  • 75ml sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt & ground pepper
  • 200ml rapeseed or olive oil
  • To garnish - 25g mixed baby leaf salad


  1. To make the beignets
  2. In a thick bottomed saucepan melt together the butter and milk
  3. Sift in theflour and whisktogether until the misture begins to form a dough andstick to the side of the pan
  4. Whisk in the blue cheese and trasnfer to a mixing bowl
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until the mixture has formed into a smooth dough. Add the chopped rosemary, check the seasoning and set aside to cool
  6. To finish, pre-heat a deep fryer to 160/170 degrees and use a desertpoon dipped in hot water to spoon the mixture carefully into the fryer (You will need two or three beignets to make one portion). Gently fry for 4 minutes until golden brown, rotating all the time.
  7. To make the caramelised pear
  8. Place 50g of the sugar in a small pan with 500ml of water and the star anise. Bring to the boil until the sugar ha dissolved, then reduce the heat.
  9. Cut the pear into cubes roughly 1.5cm in size and add to the syrup.
  10. Gently poach the pear for 5-10 minutes, or until the pear is just cooked. Remove from the heat, then place the pear cubes on a piece of kitchen towel to dry. Set aside.
  11. Before serving, dust the pear with the remaining castor sugar, then, using a kitchen blowtorch, you can caramelise the sugar to give the fruit a beautiful sweet crunch.
  12. To make the pastry
  13. Gently melt the butter, than lightly brush each sheet of pastry and press together
  14. Sprinkle with the walnuts and bake in a preheated oven at 170/gas mark 3 for around nine minutes, or until golden brown
  15. Leave to cook then break into shards for texture
  16. To make the dressing
  17. Place the sherry vinegar, mustard and honey in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Slowly add the oil, continually whisking until the dressing emulsifies. Check the seasoning.
  18. To serve
  19. Arrange the beignets, caramelised pear cubes and pasgtry shards on plates and garnish with salad leaves and dressing. Serve as a starter.