Friday, January 24, 2014

Apricot Blue Cheese Pecan Bites

The mix of salty blue cheese and sweet apricots topped with toasted pecans makes the perfect bite for happy hour.  Enjoy these with a glass of crisp dry white wine or an ice cold beer. 


Here’s the thing.  I love salty stuff.  I’d choose a piece of bacon over a slice of chocolate cake any day.  But if you add salty to sweet, I’m still in.  The idea for these apricot blue cheese bites came to me in a flash of inspiration when I was using canned apricots in muffins.  They are the perfect little vessel for melted cheese!  I used blue but if that’s not your favorite, try Brie or Camembert or even a goat cheese.  Don’t have pecans?  Top them with toasted walnuts.   No matter how you make them, I’d like to come over for the party!

Ingredients
1 can (14 1/2 oz or 410g, net weight) apricot halves
3 1/2 oz or 100g blue cheese
1 oz or 30g whole pecan halves – one per apricot half so your weight may vary slightly.
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Method
Drain the juice or syrup out of your can of apricot halves and put them on bed of paper towels to absorb any moisture.   Count how many there are and count out that many pecans plus a few spares.  My can had 17 apricot halves.



Toast your pecans in a non-stick skillet over a medium flame.  Toss or stir them frequently to avoid scorching.  When they are browning nicely, remove the hot pan from the stove and sprinkle in the sugar.

Toss the pecans around quickly to coat them with the sugar which will begin to caramelize immediately as it hits the hot pan.  There may be smoke.  Just keep tossing.  Set aside to cool.

Wipe out the non-stick skillet and pop in the apricots.  On high heat, cook them quickly until they are browned or a little charred on both sides.



Put the apricot halves in a baking pan, hole side up.


Cut your blue cheese into small pieces and put some in each apricot.



Put the pan under the broiler or grill in your oven and cook for just a few minutes or until the blue cheese is melted and bubbly.  Some of the cheese may melt out onto the pan but as it cools, you can scoop it up and put it back in the apricot.



Top each with a toasted pecan.  Serve warm or at room temperature.



Enjoy!



Sharing with your helper is optional.  But, frankly, not really recommended.


16 comments :

  1. Canned apricots! Fascinating! I bet they hold up well, too. I've always used dried apricots... thanks!

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  2. I love the spoon that sits on the pot. Awesome!

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  3. I love how you used apricots as your serving vessel! Can't wait until the summer to try these.

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  4. First, I would like to say how that potsandpans.com site rocks!!! Second, Rachel Ray has lots of cool products. I really like the purple egg tray. I have chickens and there eggs would look extra pretty in a purple egg tray.

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  5. The canned ones work great but I'll bet the dried apricots would be sweeter, which would be nice as well.

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  6. Oooh, if you try it with fresh apricots, let me know how that goes, Carla!

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  7. I completely agree on all counts, Kelly!

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