Fig, blue cheese and bacon puff pastry bites- a really yummy quick and easy starter.
Figs, blue cheese and bacon- three of my favourite ingredients, particularly when they are used together. There is something about the sweetness of the figs combined with the saltiness of the bacon and the creaminess of the cheese that really works.
This is a super-easy to make starter, which tastes delicious. I tried it out on some girlfriends I had round for dinner last night, and the result was a thumbs up all round. I made it using frozen figs, but when fresh figs are in season, you can obviously use those instead. You will need a cupcake tray to make this recipe.
Ingredients (Makes 9-10 puff pastry cups)
Ready made puff pastry (yes you could make your own, but I really think that the quality of the bought stuff is so good now that there is no need unless you are using lots of puff pastry all the time)
Frozen figs – about 8 whole ones in total. My figs came in quarters and I used about 30. Defrost them before you start.
Thinly sliced poitrine fumée – For those of you not in France, the closest equivalent of this is smoked streaky bacon. Alternatively you could use pancetta.
Block of creamy soft blue cheese such as Saint Agur
- Turn on your oven to about 180°C. Line a baking tray with some tin foil, and sprinkle a little salt and sugar over it. Lay out your poitrine fumée or streaky bacon, and sprinkle a little more sugar and salt over the top of the meat. Don’t overdo it- the aim is just to give a bit of flavour and help the bacon to crisp up. Pop the tray in the oven and cook until the bacon looks like it is turning crisp and shrivelling up a bit (around 15 minutes). Take it off the tray and put it onto some kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil.
- Lightly grease a cupcake tray with some butter.
- Roll out your puff pastry unit it is a couple of millimetres thick. Cut out squares that are about 12cm in width and height. Pop the pastry squares into the greased cups and push into the edges. The pastry should come up above the top of each cup, all the way round. If it doesn’t, cut off some extra leaves of pastry and fill the gaps. I found that one roll of puff pastry (230g) made 9 cups.
- Chop up the defrosted figs into small pieces and put in a bowl. Chop up the cheese and add to the mixture. Tear the bacon into little bits (excluding any tough bits of rind). Mix the whole lot up with a couple of teaspoons of honey. You probably won’t need salt as the bacon is already salty, but taste it and season if required.
- Fill the pastry cups with the mixture, bringing it nearly up to the top of each cup. Don’t overfill as it will bubble over the top when you cook them.
- Pop the whole tray in the oven until the puff pastry looks ‘puffy’ and is beginning to turn golden. This will be about 20 minutes.
- Take the tray out and carefully remove the puff pastry cups and put onto a wire cooling rack. To get them out, you might want to carefully run a knife or spatula around the side, before lifting it out by the edges of the pastry.
- Cool for 5 minutes and then serve warm, accompanied by a rocket salad with a balsamic syrup glaze.
Easy-peasy and totally delicious!