John Whaite's Poached Pear Filo Canapés
- 4 sheets filo pastry, thawed if frozen
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
- 2 firm pears – Poire William or conference will be perfect – peeled and cored
- 500ml mulled wine
- 18 whole pecans, toasted
- 3 thick slices of Christmas ham
- 225g strong Stilton
- 5tsp runny honey
- Cracked black pepper to season (no salt required due to Stilton and ham)
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Unwrap the filo sheets and place onto the counter top. Brush each sheet with a little melted butter, and sprinkle some blacked pepper onto each sheet – just a very small amount.
Layer the sheets on top of one another and cut into 8 squares. Use these squares to line the muffin pan, leaving the surplus hanging over the edge. Bake these pastry cases in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until crispy but not too coloured.
Allow to cool completely but leave them in the tin, and reduce the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Meanwhile, put the mulled wine into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the pears and poach for 10-20 minutes or until tender and a knife gently slides into the flesh. Remove from the mulled wine and allow to cool.
To assemble, take the pears and slice into about 5mm cubes. Gently bash the pecans to coarse chunks, and chop the ham into small chunks. Throw the pears, pecans and ham into a small mixing bowl, and crumble in the Stilton, and add the honey.
Mix together until everything evenly mixed, but don’t beat to a mush. Divide this between the baked Filo tart shells, and return to the oven for just 5-7 minutes, or until the Stilton melts and holds everything together.
Allow the filo tarts to cool, then top with a crumble of unbaked stilton and maybe a pinch of pepper.