Is there anything better than ooey-gooey cheese, all melty and molten with bits that have caramelized and hardened to a lacy crisp?
These savory muffins have all that and more going on.
“Three Cheese and Tomato Muffins” are loaded with cheese, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.
The recipe is from the new “The Modern Dairy” (Kyle Books) by chef and food writer Annie Bell.
It’s definitely not a book for those who are lactose intolerant, as its 100 recipes celebrate milk, cream, yogurt, cheese and butter. Learn how to make everything from yogurt from scratch to “Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi” to “Butternut Squash Fries with Date and Mint Quark” to “Milk Chocolate Mousse.”
These muffins get a load of cheesiness from pecorino, Emmental and Gruyere that’s mixed into the batter. A couple of cubes of Emmental and Gruyere are held back so that you can gently push them into the center of each muffin before baking.
The only change I made to this recipe is to eliminate the use of paper liners in the muffin tin. Although the recipe instructed to do that, the accompanying photo in the book clearly showed the muffins were baked without them. Turns out there’s a reason for that. With muffins this cheesy, there is a tendency for them to stick to all those ridges in the paper liners, making them near impossible to unwrap cleanly. That’s what I found when I baked them with liners. So learn from my mishap, jettison the paper cupcake liners in this instance, and just grease your muffin tin well instead.
These muffins puff up beautifully in the oven. Some of the cheese will spurt out onto the edge of the pan during baking, creating those coveted crispy bits we all love. And when you tear into the center, there will be plenty of melty cheese to swoon over.
These muffins are fantastic alongside scrambled eggs for breakfast or brunch; or accompanying a big bowl of tomato soup.
Three Cheese and Tomato Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup pecorino, finely grated
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
3 large free-range eggs
1 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 sun-dried tomato halves in oil, drained and finely chopped
3/4 cup Emmental, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup Gruyere, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons pesto
1 heaping tablespoon coarsely snipped chives
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan.
Combine the flour, ground almonds, pecorino, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk in another large bowl, then stir in the olive oil. Pour the mixture onto the dry ingredients and mix to a lumpy batter. Fold in the sun-dried tomatoes. combine the two cheeses, set aside about a quarter, and fold in the remainder. Dot with the pesto and gently fold over a few times to streak the mixture. Divide between the muffin cups, filling them to within 1/2-inch of the top. Place a couple of cubes of the reserved cheese in the very center of each muffin, then scatter with a pinch of chives.
Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. Serve them warm or newly cooled.
Adapted from “The Modern Dairy” by Annie Bell
More Cheesy Goodness: Canadian-Bacon Strata