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Chef Andy – The puff has the stuff

Chef Andy

Without question, fall is my favorite time of year with its cooler temperatures, beautiful colors and pigskins flying in stadiums across the country.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer months, but sometimes the humidity is so high I feel like I’m walking around in a cup of chowder.

Fall also brings with it a renewed desire to cook delicious food.

We can turn our ovens back on and make apple pies, comforting soups and slow-simmering stews that we’ve been missing for months.

There are times, however, that I’m looking for something comforting yet quick, tasty but easy and can be transported to all the gatherings we’re going to have as the holiday season approaches.

One such dish came about by accident.

I was going to share a recipe for a puff pastry appetizer that features small puff pastry squares filled with brie and your favorite fall pie filling (think apple, pumpkin, pears, figs or cranberries), but while I was out shopping for the ingredients, I found the store was out of puff pastry sheets.

So I had to call an audible.

You may be wondering why I wouldn’t just make puff pastry from scratch.

Well, if you’ve ever made puff pastry from scratch, you know the answer.

If you’ve never tried, give it a go, and you’ll soon understand.

There was one package of puff pastry bites – small, preformed cups – so I grabbed it and this recipe was born.

They’re very easy to make and you only need a few ingredients.

You can mix it up each time you make it by using different pie fillings according to the season, and everyone loves these at a party.

Give it a try this season and watch them disappear!

Puff Pastry Bites
Each store-bought box contains six puff pastry bites, so plan accordingly depending on how many people you’re serving.

Have ready:

• Frozen puff pastry bites

• 1 wheel of brie or camembert cheese, cut into 1-inch by 1-inch pieces, leave the rind on.

• 1 teaspoon of pie filling for each puff pastry bite

• 1/2 teaspoon salted walnuts or pecans

Bake off the puff pastry bites according to the package instructions, but remove them from the oven five minutes before they are done.

Let them cool for five minutes so you can handle them.

Remove the tops, place pie filling in the center, top the filling with a cube of brie and a sprinkle of nuts.
Leave the tops off and return to oven to finish baking – another five to seven minutes or until cheese starts to melt and bubble a bit.

Let cool, if you have the will power, then place tops back on and serve.


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