Butternut Squash Blini with Smoked Salmon, Orange, Crème Fraiche & Dill

Christmas & New Years Eve Canapés

Although the butternut squash gives this dish an earthy appeal it is in essence a very delicate dish. Making the blini is very straightforward; think pancake batter with some pureed squash whisked into it.  Blinis are best cooked on a low heat as the slow cooking allows enough time for a lovely golden hue to develop and for the centre to puff up. Orange works very well with smoked salmon and butternut squash but its flavours must be concentrated first. So put the juice and zest of 2 oranges into a small pot, place over a medium heat, and reduce by three quarters. Then pass through a sieve and set aside.

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Butternut Squash Blini:

300g roasted butternut squash
120ml cream
100g plain flour
2 eggs – beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt & generous grind of black pepper

To serve:
20 thin strips of smoked salmon
100g crème fraiche
Dill
2 oranges – zest & juice reduced to a syrup

  • Put the blini ingredients into a food processor & puree until smooth.
  • Pre-heat a non-stick pan on a low heat, add a little butter. Drop in 1 teaspoon of mix; it should spread slightly to form a small disc. Cook for 2 minutes and then turn over & cook the other side. Cook in batches of 5.
  • Allow to cool and store in an air tight container
  • To serve warm the blini in the oven & top with a swirl of smoked salmon, a dollop of crème fraiche, a drop of concentrated orange & a small sprig of dill.
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