I firmly believe that two ingredients can make almost any dish spectacular: bacon & puff pastry. Heck, I’d eat those two together any day! I made these apple, bacon, & brie pastry bites for a friend’s birthday, and they were a big hit. Not too sweet (although I will include some ideas to up the sweetness factor if you choose to do so), and a great combo of flavors.
Ingredients (makes 36–cut ingredients in half to make 18):
- 2 green apples
- 1/2 wheel of brie cheese
- 1/2 package of bacon
- 4 sheets of puff pastry
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- brown sugar
- 1 egg (for optional egg wash)
N.B.: In these pictures, I did MAJOR overkill on the amount of ingredients needed (why did I think I would need 8 apples?! and an entire package of bacon?!). I learned my lesson the hard way…so now you get to benefit from my mistake! The above list of ingredients reflects the changes necessary. :)[caption id="attachment_523" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] …mmm. a holy trinity of sorts. :)[/caption]
If you bought it frozen, let your puff pastry thaw. I’ve seen so many cooking shows and heard so many chefs all say, “It’s not worth it to make your own pie crust or puff pastry. Just buy it–it’s almost always just as good.” Plus, it saves you what I’m sure would be a huge headache, in the long run.
First, chop up your bacon into small pieces, and cook to your desired bacon texture. Let it cool. If you want to up the sweetness factor, toss in a tablespoon of brown sugar as you cook the bacon.[caption id="attachment_524" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] bacon before…[/caption] [caption id="attachment_525" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] …and bacon after! yum![/caption]
Chop up your apples into small pieces. To prevent browning, toss a little lemon juice over them & mix it in.
Add in your teaspoon of cinnamon & mix. If you’d like this recipe to be sweeter, add in some brown sugar–start small & taste until it’s at a sweetness level that you like![caption id="attachment_527" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] you can’t have apples in a pastry without cinnamon. no really, it’s illegal.[/caption]
Take your wheel of brie and cut vertical lines into it. I found this was the easiest way to chop brie up into small pieces. Even after, I had to break them to be a little bit smaller, but this saved me a lot of time in the long run. And in case you’ve never used brie before–yes, the rind is edible. You really don’t notice it when you eat it! Brie is one of my very favorite cheeses. Possibly my favorite. :)this is how small I cut my brie pieces. they wound up having to be a little bit smaller–I overestimated how much I’d be able to fit in each puff pastry piece![/caption]
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you bought your puff pastry sheet frozen (HIGHLY recommended!), you should have to unfold it once it is finished thawing. Cut along the fold lines to make life easy (& delicious).[caption id="attachment_530" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] see the fold lines? makes life so easy![/caption]
Then cut horizontally in thirds, to create nine (relatively) equal squares. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfectly equal…mine never are. :)
Fill 1/2 of each square with the apples, brie, and bacon. I broke up the bacon even smaller so I could fit it in without breaking the pastry. I folded mine into triangles, which seemed to work well. Don’t worry if you wind up with some holes in your pastry–you’ll poke some in soon anyway…[caption id="attachment_532" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] apples…[/caption] [caption id="attachment_533" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] …brie…[/caption] [caption id="attachment_534" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] …BACON![/caption]
Sprinkle each one with some brown sugar. If you want it extra sweet, then feel free to pile on the brown sugar!
Fold each square into a triangle. Use a fork to press the edges together (this works best if you press & slightly pull the fork away from the pastry…I find that just pressing the fork doesn’t really do the trick). Poke each triangle with a fork so it can breathe. Brush each triangle with an egg wash if desired (1 egg, a tablespoon or two of water, whisked together). I used an egg wash on my first batch, but forgot for the second half, and I really didn’t notice a difference.[caption id="attachment_535" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] ready to go tanning![/caption]
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops of the pastries are browned.
Put them on a rack to cool for a few minutes. If you have a super sweet tooth, you could top these with some confectioner’s sugar.
Like my makeshift cooling rack? Those are from our toaster oven, haha. :)
…and that’s it! These are great served either warm or cold. They also reheat well–just pop ‘em back in at 350 until they are warm again.
I love the way these came out–I’d be interested to hear how the sweeter version comes out, so if you try that, please let me know!