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White Cheddar Gougères with Apple Pulp and Prosciutto


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Jen has always been the gougère-maker when we lived together.  I’ve got to give her props for really becoming an expert at forming the cheese puffs to actually become consistent in size, light, airy and all things elegant and French. I, on the other hand, was experimenting so as my first iteration, these were decent, but there is definitely improvement to be made. What made these puffs stand out though was the warm, homey apple pulp stuffing and crispy prosciutto topping, so at the holiday hors d’oeuvres get-together that I hosted, these bad boys went quickly. Next time I’ll work on shaping the puffs and will potentially sprinkle them with cinnamon instead of fleur de sel and pepper. The prosciutto could also be brushed with a honey or maple glaze for a tough more sweetness which would still complement the sharpness of the cheddar.

White Cheddar Gougères with Apple Pulp and Prosciutto (Courtesy of the Food Network)
Yield: 30+ gougères

Ingredients:

Gougères

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated sharp white cheddar

Filling and Topping

  • 6 honey crisp apples
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom honey  (or regular honey)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more for topping
  • 1 bunch sage, leaves only (I sort of skipped this step to save time)
  • 10 to 15 thin slices prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper

Directions (borrowed from Food Network, with my commentary in Italics)

Prepare the gougeres: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats (foil works fine here). In a large saucepan, combine the butter, salt and 1 cup water. Stir over high heat until the butter melts completely, then remove the pan from the heat and add all the flour at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth, then transfer to a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed and add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat in the grated cheese. This has the potential to become extremely messy. Be ready.Transfer the dough to a pastry bag, or use 2 wet spoons to drop neat 1-tablespoon mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.This is where things got tough. I used the 2 wet spoons maneuver and while it worked, I definitely could have done a better job on size consistency.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and crisp. When done, turn off the oven and let the gougeres dry out in the oven with the door ajar to keep them nice and crisp.Cook the apples for the filling: Peel the apples and discard the core; cut into 1/2-inch dice. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over high heat. When foaming, add the spices. They will toast instantly and become fragrant; add the apples and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Add 2 tablespoons water, the honey and lemon juice. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced and the apples are tender. Set aside to cool slightly.Set a clean saute pan over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the pan; when hot, fry the sage leaves until crisp and almost transparent, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Add the prosciutto pieces to the same pan in a single layer (work in batches, if necessary). Cook for 1 minute on each side to crisp them up. Drain on paper towels.To assemble, carefully tear off the top third of each gougère (save the tops because they make delicious cheesy snacks!) and spoon in some warm apple filling. Top with a sage leaf (or not) and a piece of prosciutto and season lightly with fleur de sel. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper.Enjoy with an assortment of other hors d’oeuvres such as Mini Caprese, Salmon Rillettes, Portobello Pizzas, and Home-made Hummus.
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Comments
One Response to “White Cheddar Gougères with Apple Pulp and Prosciutto”
  1. jdubs says:

    awwwwww i know you exaggerate but flattered nonetheless

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