Tag Archives: Puff Pastry

Brie en Croute


I love Brie Cheese, even if it is French and I’m Danish.  I also love Havarti cheese but I don’t think it’s a cheese you can fold into puff pastry and bake.  Of course I haven’t tried doing that yet either, hmmm.

I just had to say it.  I mean a lovely, luscious piece of creamy Brie on a piece of fresh bread or a cracker with some cracked hazelnuts or fresh fruit, I can make a meal out of it, and have done just  that, on many occasions.

However there is just something so over the top decadent about baking a wheel of Brie in some Puff Pastry and then digging into it, so since I had a lovely piece of Brie in the fridge, which needed to be eaten, I did just that.

Encased it in a piece of Puff Pastry and baked it.

And it was good.   So good, it all got eaten.  Luckily I managed to get a couple of bites.  I think I would have been seriously miffed if I hadn’t.

To start with, I did something that the purists are going to gasp at.  I trimmed the rind off part of the brie.  Yup, I did.  But it didn’t go to waste.   Well, maybe my waist, but that’s a story for another day.

I pulled some Puff Pastry out of the fridge and let it thaw while I prepared the cheese.  And no I didn’t talk to it, other than telling it how lovely it was.

To start with, I cut the top of the rind off, I wanted a fresh spot to spread the Fig Preserves on.  And then I cut the sides off.   I know the rind is good, but I wanted to have the wheel really, really melty.

I floured my mat lightly and placed the pastry on it.  I did roll it out a little, but that was more to get the fold marks out.

I then placed the Brie right in the middle, spread about 1/4-1/2 a cup of fig preserves over the top, I really didn’t measure.  I just knew I wanted a layer of preserves on there.

I then took opposite corners of the pastry and brought it to the center and pinched them closed.
I then took the corners again, and folded them up and over.

 

I put it in the fridge until later, (I was so organized on Saturday it scared me.)

I took it out and gave it a good egg wash before popping it into the oven at 400 degrees.    I also like to bake on parchment paper, as you can see in the pictures.  Saves a lot of clean up, and stuff doesn’t stick to baking pans as easily.  Trust me on this.

Because it had been in the fridge and cold, it took a little while, a good 20 or 30 minutes to get a lovely golden color.   I just checked the oven after 20 minutes, and it wasn’t quite golden enough so I left it another few minutes.  The cheese was really melty.

I pulled it out when I thought it was done and people promptly dove into it.    Well, it took a few minutes, but then again, there was a lot of food there, and they had to make their way over to it.    I had some little toasts set to the side, but no one ate the baked brie on them, they just cut chunks of the cheese and ate them.

OK, so that was me doing that.   But really, this was a seriously good appetizer and one I will make again.

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Ramp and Mushroom Tart


I told you about my incredibly generous and thoughtful friend who gave me some Ramps earlier last week.   And they were so good with a simple scrambled egg and toast.  Sublime in their simplicity.

Well, I still had a few ramps left and thought they would be good with some mushrooms, so I googled ramps and mushrooms and came up with a bunch of ideas.   Amazing how many great minds think alike about stuff like this.   Here’s the link to my inspiration for this tart.   I got it from Saveur but there were a couple of issues with the recipe.  However, I persevered.

I had some goat cheese already and I always have puff pastry in the freezer, whether it be commercial or home-made.  This time of the year it’s the commercial stuff, cause it’s too hot to make my own.

And wow, it just so happened that all this came together in time for our June Tapas Night.   How fortuitous is that?

Of course I did make a few changes, but honestly, I don’t think anyone would have noticed.    I did not use as much olive oil as the original recipe called for and I did not have fresh thyme.  (note to self, get that plant started, sheesh) .   And my ramps did not have the green tops, so they were sliced and sauteed.

2 tbsp. olive oil
10 oz. button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced (I used a bottled one I had on hand.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. finely chopped thyme leaves, plus whole leaves to garnish
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
20 ramps (about 4 oz.), trimmed
4 oz. goat cheese, softened
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. lemon zest, divided
1 egg yolk
1 sheet frozen, thawed puff pastry
Fleur de sel, to taste

1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil  plus one tbsp. butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallot, and salt and pepper; stir to coat in oil, and cover skillet. Cook until mushrooms release most of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is evaporated and mushrooms are browned, about 10 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.

2. Return skillet to heat along with remaining oil and butter. Add ramps; cover, and cook until barely tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover and cook, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

3. Heat oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, stir together goat cheese, parmesan, cream, 1 tbsp. lemon zest, egg yolk, and salt and pepper until smooth; set aside.

Place puff pastry on a floured work surface and roll into a 16″-long rectangle. Transfer dough to large cookie sheet.   Spread mushrooms over bottom of dough;

place dollops of cheese mixture over mushrooms and using your fingers or a spatula, spread cheese as much as possible over mushrooms.

Arrange ramps over cheese and mushrooms,

and then fold and crimp edges of the pastry, to form a rim.   Bake tart until crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

4. Transfer tart to a wire rack and let cool.  Slice and transfer to a serving platter.

Sprinkle remaining lemon zest over the top of the tart along with thyme leaves and fleur de sel. Serve at room temperature.

I just thought I’d leave you with a shot of my counter.   I’m not one of your neat and tidy cooks.  sigh.   I try, but gee, I just get too many things going on at once and then you have this.


I had a bunch onions I’d sliced and caramelized for my Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tart, plus of course I was also prepping the ramps, and mushrooms and trying to stand on my head while answering the phone and ….   You get the drift.

Mushroom and Onion Tart with Goat Cheese


I had fun making stuff for Saturday’s Tapas get together, but I just couldn’t make up my mind just what I wanted to make so I ended up with a couple of different dishes.    All right, I made four separate appetizers, sigh.
This one though was a big hit, and I loved it.   Onion and Mushroom Tart with Goat Cheese.  And I will make it again, and again and again.

I was just lucky I actually got to taste it, it disappeared so fast.   And this is so easy to make.  I mean, easy,  5 ingredients easy.  Onions, mushrooms, thyme, puff pastry and goat cheese.

To start with, take your puff pastry sheets out of the freezer and place in the fridge.   I like them to thaw in the fridge for a couple of hours, before taking them out and letting them finish thawing on the counter.   Cause if your kitchen is too warm, the pastry gets warm and it just doesn’t rise.   Now if you’re crazy like me, and make your own puff pastry, you’ll have some already in the fridge or freezer waiting for you.  Although I didn’t have any made up, I just used Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets.   And they do work well.
Next up, cut some onions up, and cook them slowly and gently in some EVOO until they are nice and brown and caramelized.   I love slowly cooked onions.  If you have some fresh thyme, strip off a couple of sprigs and sprinkle the leaves over the onions and let them cook a minute or so more.  Or just sprinkle in about a half teaspoon of thyme and stir that in.  Remove the onions to a separate bowl while you cook the mushrooms.   Let them cook until the liquid has evaporated then add the onions back in to the pan, sauté them a little more and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pull out the puff pastry sheet and fold over the edges to make a pretty border, and also to be able to contain the onion/mushroom mixture.    Place the mushroom onion mixture in the middle of the tart and spread out evenly.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the edges of the tart are nice and brown.

Take out and let cool just a little before dotting the top with some goat cheese.   You can make this earlier and just warm it a little in the oven before serving by the way.

Cut into pieces, and stand back cause your guests are going to love this, and will be trying to get just a taste before you get it on a platter.    I put this plate down and before I could get back to it with the camera, there were pieces missing.  But it’s all good.  And very tasty, and best of all easy.

Mushroom and Onion Tart

2 onions, sliced thinly, I used sweet onions
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 oz. block goat cheese
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1-2 tablespoons EVOO

Heat a good sauté pan with one tablespoon of EVOO and add the sliced onions, cooking them over a low heat for about 20-25 minutes.   Stirring from time to time.  Slow cooking means that the sugar really comes out in the onions.  You want them a nice golden color. Add the thyme in the last few minutes.   Remove to a separate bowl, and sauté the mushrooms in an extra tablespoon of EVOO until they have released their liquid and then add the onions back in.  Continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated, then take the pan off of the heat and let them cool.
Turn oven on to 350 degrees to preheat.

Prepare the puff pastry sheet as per instructions, and then make a lip around the edges of the sheet by folding the puff pastry over just a little.  (I forgot to take pictures, again).   Place the mushroom/onion mixture in the middle and spread out.   Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until the edges are a nice golden color.   Take out and let cool for just a couple of minutes before dotting the tart with some of the goat cheese.   Cut and serve immediately or you could also let it cool, and then warm it a little before serving.    This really is very tasty.