Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Fig and Cheese Puffs

I am cooking Thanksgiving with a few dietary restrictions in mind this year, so I wanted to use it as an opportunity to challenge myself with more creative appetizers. After a browse through my favorite food magazines and websites, I had a pretty good idea of the entire menu but still needed one appetizer that would offset a rich, cheese dish without using meat or sending everyone into a pre-dinner food coma. The answer?: Puff Pastry.

New recipes for puff pastry wrapped bits of food are everywhere these days and I loved the idea of a pre-dinner carb that wouldn't ruin anyone's appetite. Wandering the aisles of Whole Foods (yes, I do that a lot), I made an obligatory pilgrimage to the cheese section, where I found an amazing, aged, French goat cheese. I knew I had to do something with it and inspiration struck as I grabbed my puff pastry from the frozen section (normally, I would make this myself but on Thanksgiving, I'm happy to use a pre-made).To offset the pungent cheese, I picked up some dried figs.

To start, let the frozen puff pastry thaw to room temperature and chop the dried figs into small segments - no larger than an inch wide. Set aside when done.


Once the puff pastry has thawed, roll it out on a non-stick or lightly floured surface (I used a non-stick, baking pad). *The pastry can either be cut into squares - 2x2 inches, or into circles - about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. I did two test batches, using circles for one and squares for the other and the circle-cut dough turned out better in my opinion. Pre-heat the oven to 330 degrees Fahrenheit at this point.


 Next, grab your cheese from the fridge and cut into small cubes, about 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches. Place one cube in the center of the dough, top with 3-4 bits of fig, and drizzle with honey. Fold the dough up, around the ingredients by slightly stretching out four corners of the circle to overlap each other atop the figs, using a dab of water to moisten and seal the folds (*stop to do this every few puffs and thoroughly dry your hands before you handle the rest of the dough or it will stick to your fingers).

Place the sealed puffs in a lightly greased, standard muffin tin, brush with an egg wash (one beaten egg lasted for three trays worth of these) and bake for 16 minutes.

Once done, place the pastry puffs on a sheet of parchment paper, atop a cooling rack for 2-3 minutes before serving.


- 2 rounds Puff Pastry Dough
- 1 1/2 rounds cheese (preferably an aged goat cheese but any young, pungent cheese will work)
- 6-7 dried figs (dried dates can also be used)
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 egg

- 1 muffin tin
- pastry brush
- 1 sheet parchment paper
- 1 cooling rack (optional)

*Makes 36

No comments:

Post a Comment