We are well and truly into the silly season - yaay! The Christmas tree is already up and decorations are slowly taking over my home - and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So while most baked cheese recipes rely on soft cheeses like brie or Camembert, I have to admit I am more of a hard cheese kind of gal so I had a look online for baked cheese alternatives and found that Gruyere, Gouda and Edam were all good alternatives.
Then it was just a matter of adding some dried cranberries, chopped nuts and some jam to create a yummy little Christmassy flavored cheese baked pastry! While everyone in the family devoured this in one day I think that it might be fun to try soaking the cranberries in orange juice or maybe whisky or brandy for just that little more depth in flavor but really, it's not necessary as this is very delicious as is.
I wasn't too precious about folding my pastry as I wanted it to have a nice rustic feel which I think works nicely with a recipe like this!
Also wishing all my USA followers a very Happy Thanksgiving!
YOU WILL NEED
1 sheet thawed butter puff pastry OR regular puff pastry (25cm x 25cm / 9" x 9")
150-200g | 5-7 ounce round wheel or flat square block of Gruyere, Gouda or Edam cheese - you can cut to size and arrange in pastry if needed
2 tablespoons of cherry jam, strawberry, rasberries, blackcurrant OR cranberry jelly
2-3 tablespoons dried cranberries OR enough to cover your cheese nicely
2-3 tablespoons chopped walnuts/pecans OR enough to cover your cheese nicely
1 egg lightly beaten
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F.
Line your baking tray with baking paper and place your sheet of pasty on it.
Place your cheese in the centre of the pastry sheet
Top with your jam and spread evenly over the cheese.
Add the cranberries and nuts evenly over the surface of the jam.
Fold the excess pastry over the cheese and toppings, You don't need to be too precious, I think a rustic finish looks better with these kinds of things.
Brush with the egg and gently seal the the top edges of the pastry with a fork.
Baked for 25-35 minutes or until the pastry is lovely and golden brown.
Remove, allow to cool slightly and serve as is or with a platter of your favorite dried fruits, nuts and some drinks.
MAKES 6-8 SERVES