Hot Caprese on Puff
Easy, quick and a crowd pleaser second to none! These delectable puffy clouds of my favorite flavors seem to hit the spot every time. Make them for posh ‘Sex in the city’ type cocktail parties, or for a tense Sharks vs Bulls rugby match. They go perfectly with French champagne or good old beer and cheap wine.
Play with the ingredients and create different fillings. Next is to try them as a dessert with poached pear, ginger and chocolate…..will keep you up to date as to how those work out. (Thanks to Janet for introducing these delights to us!)
Hot Caprese on Puff. (makes 24 squares feeds 6 – 8 )
1 x 500g butter puff pastry (The Woolworths one is the best I have found.)
2 egg yolks mixed with 50 ml milk
8 – 10 rosa cherry tomatoes halved
3 – 4 slices of prosciutto or salami cut into small squares
basil pesto (click here for recipe)
Gruyere cheese (mozzarella traditionally is used in a Caprese, but I feel this needs a stronger flavor)
fresh basil to garnish
- Defrost pastry a few hours before. Once defrosted keep in the fridge until needed. Preheat oven to 220 oC.
- Unroll the pastry and using a rolling pin, gently flatten into a rectangular shape to fit your baking tray. (Keep the pastry cold or it will be difficult to cut. Put back into the fridge for 10 minutes if it is softening.)
- Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Trim the outer edges to get a symmetrical shape. Place back in the freezer or fridge for 10 – 15 minutes so that the pastry becomes hardened.
- Take a sharp knife and divide the pastry up into small squares or rectangles. (Approximately 6 – 8 cm each.)
- Egg wash the entire sheet.
- Begin with a piece of the meat, and then add half a tomato, a quarter of a teaspoon of pesto and lastly a small 1cm x 1cm piece of cheese. Press the tomato down firmly to make an indent so that they do not ‘fall off’ the pastry.
- Place in the centre of a hot oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. (Watch after 10 min as each oven may vary.) Keep them in until the middle ones brown and look crispy. (If you are able to at this point remove from the oven, gently pry apart. Remove the outer ones if they are cooked. Put back in oven for 5 minutes to allow the centre ones edges to crisp.)
- Season with ground salt and pepper, scatter a few basil leaves on the squares and serve immediately.
(NOTE: don’t overfill as you will be tempted to like I was. The pastry needs some ‘clear’ space all around the filling so that it can puff up and become crispy. If you overfill, they will get soggy.)