Autumnal Muffins With Stilton, Squash, Walnuts & Sage

Stilton, Squash, Walnut & Sage Muffins

Ahh autumn. London’s trees, with their unusually rich hues of gold, burnished orange and moody auburn bear more of a passing resemblance to New England this year than any I can remember. Seeing Regent’s Park earlier in the week the romantic softie in me felt suddenly overcome by all the pretty colours on the trees. And no, my morning cuppa tea had not been spiked thankyouverymuch.

As a kid I really dreaded autumn, for all the predictable reasons you do when growing up. End of careless summers spent in the States – New England as it happens – back to boring school, the long Norwegian winter ahead, clocks going back, nothing to look forward to til, well, the following June when school finished. Bleak really.

Being a feckless, temperamental sort I haven’t quite overcome that sense of overwhelming doom when the leaves start turning. But I do have a newfound appreciation of the good things autumn brings us. Which might explain the unexpected swoon at seeing all those colours in the park the other day. Or perhaps I just need to take a vitamin supplement.

But enough musing and on to the recipe. These little beauties are really autumn in a muffin – strong, robust cheese such as stilton and pungent, heady sage mixed with perky butternut squash and crunchy, mellow walnuts. I do a variation on this theme now every autumn – last year it was with pumpkin and cheddar, this year stilton and squash. In our straitened times these savoury muffins make a delicious addition to any lunchbox, or as a sidekick to soups, salads and midweek suppers.

Do give them a try, I reckon bonfire night would be greatly improved with some cheese-y muffins and a glass of hot buttered rum.

Stilton, Squash, Walnut & Sage Muffins close-up

Autumn in a muffin

Perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup, with a crunchy salad or as an afternoon snack

Stilton, Squash, Walnut & Sage Savoury Muffins Recipe:

Makes 12 pretty muffins

Ingredients:

  • 150g refined spelt flour
  • 100g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 50g oat bran
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 whole nutmeg, finely grated
  • 8 sprigs of sage, roughly torn, plus 4 whole ones for scattering on a few muffins
  • 100ml plain yoghurt
  • 50g melted butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 generous squirt of mild honey
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 250g butternut squash, roughly grated
  • 100g stilton cheese, broken into 1cm chunks
  • handful of walnut pieces
  • extra cheese of your choice for sprinkling on top of the muffins

Method:

Preheat the oven to 190 C. You will need a 12x medium-sized muffin tin. Line the muffin tin with squares of parchment paper or paper muffin cases.

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients and stir through with a large spoon to distribute the raising agents. In a medium bowl mix the yoghurt with the melted butter. Crack the eggs into a cup and beat with a fork. Add the honey and mustard to the eggs and stir again so you distribute the honey and mustard evenly.

Make a well in the middle of the larger bowl with the dry ingredients and pour in all the liquid ingredients. Stir through about eight times using a large spoon, scooping in figure-of-eight motions so you incorporate all the ingredients. Add the butternut squash, stir 2-3 times and then finally add the stilton and the walnuts. Stir through a few more times so you have an even mixture.

Use a tablespoon or ice cream scoop and distribute the muffin mixture equally between the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle with extra cheese if you wish, some extra stilton or parmesan for example. Then place a few sage leaves on some of the muffins.

Bake on the upper middle shelf of the oven for 20 or so minutes, until the muffins look golden-brown and feel quite firm to the touch. Eat while warm. These savoury muffins keep well for a few days. Simply wrap in clingfilm or keep them in an airtight container. They make a fab alternative to a slice of bread with soup or with a crunchy autumn/winter salad.

 

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12 Responses to Autumnal Muffins With Stilton, Squash, Walnuts & Sage

  1. katinka day says:

    These look amazing and such a great combination of flavours! I have actually never tried to do savory muffins before, but you have inspired me!

    • Signe says:

      Thanks Katinka, yes do try them! Savoury muffins are a doddle to make and a great alternative to plain bread at lunchtime, or any time of the day :-)

  2. These look wonderful Sig. Autumn is my favourite season with is beautiful colours and most importantly, it compliments my hair! I think Baby GG will love these if I leave the walnut out – definitely one for the next couple of weeks. Thank you.

  3. Lucy says:

    These look delicious. I’m on a bit of a blue cheese kick at the moment (had some melted on a burger the other night, mmmmmm) and someone just gave me a huge bag of walnuts,so I’ll prob make these next weekend when I have time again. A mini version would go well with some whisky for an evening snack!

  4. Adele says:

    These muffins sound delicious, I’m going to have to try them! I discovered your blog only today and what a lovely surprise. My husband is Norwegian and so reading about your memories of foraging for wild berries and adventurous outdoor pursuits really makes sense – he talks about all of these things and I am starting to experience them myself. Norway is a magical place.

    Well done and keep writing!

  5. I love the cheese and sage combo. Have become a sage convert. Yummmm!

  6. Ian James says:

    I made some sweet muffins in the week, got as far as spooning some into the cupcases, when I licked a bit of spilled batter and realised instantly that i’d forgotten the sugar. As I slopped the batter back into the bowl and hastily pour some sugar in, I did wonder what a savoury cheese muffin would taste like. Now I’ve just found this recipe I’ve got to try them they look delicious.

  7. Isabel says:

    This look so good! I am a big fan of blue cheese, so definitely making these soon. They seem like a great solution to my poor student’s lunch box! Do you have any other ingredient combination suggestions? I looked at your other recipe, but I never seem to find any pumpkin near me…

    Isabel

    • Signe says:

      Hi Isabel, you can kinda vary the ingredients to whatever you like really, but be aware that the pumpkin puree adds moisture and a nice texture to these muffins. What you could try to do instead is slow roast some butternut squash or of course pumpkin on a low temperature for a few hours, then remove from the oven to cool completely before pureeing in a blender to achieve a similar effect to Libby’s. Otherwise You could of course just blitz a load of leftover vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes and add that to the mixture as you’ll get a nice veggie flavour in the muffins. The cheese really is a great treat I find – use any blue you have or some mature Jarlsberg or cheddar. The stronger the cheese the more robust these muffins are – perfect for winter lunchboxes! Hope that helps, Sig x

  8. Isabel says:

    Also, I’m thinking of signing up for your supper club with my Swedish friend, it looks exciting!

    • Signe says:

      Great to hear it Isabel! Do book early as the events are filling up fast and it’s not yet definite whether I’ll be doing these events after April :-) Hope to meet you at a brunch or supper! Sig x

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