Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Pork, Apple and Blue Cheese in a Puff Pastry Pocket

This dinner was very tasty, but very rich...between the puff pastry, blue cheese and red wine butter sauce, a small piece of this was more than enough! The idea started when I had a day off with nothing specific to do, and I decided to tackle making puff pastry, something I've never quite mastered. I baked some test pieces and it was a success, with beautiful rise and layers.

That lead me to this meal, which I honestly think was a bit over the top, but it was fun to make, and very rewarding just because I knew that I had made the pastry.

I used up two apples, as well as some fig compote and blue cheese that were in the fridge. At the last minute I decided to use some open red wine to make a butter sauce.

In a bit of olive oil, cook until softened:

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced


2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 teaspoon ground aniseed
salt and pepper to taste

Cook on a low heat until the apples are softened, adding a bit of apple juice as needed, to keep the apples and onions moist. You want to cook this to the consistency of a chunky compote, with tender apples that still have some shape. Set aside to cool completely.

Cut the pork tenderloin into two pieces, and season with salt and pepper.

Sear all sides of the pork in a hot pan, using a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.

Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.

Save the pan and use it to make the red wine sauce, as the pan has all of the flavour from searing the pork.  I added some apple juice and red wine, then whisked in cold butter.

Roll the puff pastry out to a thickness of 1/8" - 1/4",  to a size of approximately 9" X 12".

You will need a piece of pastry for each piece of pork.

In  the centre of the pastry, spread a bit of fig compote.

Place the seared pork on top of this, and top it with half of the cooked apples and onions.

Lastly, place some blue cheese on top of the apple compote.

Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash, and tuck the short ends over the pork, and then finish off by folding the long ends over the pork.

Lightly pinch the pastry closed; as you want it to open slightly during baking it only needs to be pinched closed to hold for the first few minutes of baking.

Place into the fridge and chill well before baking. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Brush the outside of the puff pastry with egg wash before placing into the oven to bake.

Bake until the pastry has puffed, is crispy and golden and has opened on top to reveal the filling, and allow the cheese to melt.

This took about 30 minutes. Allow the pork to rest for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

Cut the puff pastry package in half to reveal the pork and layers of filling.

Serve one half of the pork and pastry package per person. I served it with roasted potatoes and carrots, and the red wine butter sauce.

  • Purchased puff pastry is probably the best choice for a recipe like this. Making puff pastry takes time and patience, and the products that are available in the grocery stores are reliable and easy to use. If you are able to buy puff pastry that is already rolled out into thin sheets, even better.
  • You can enclose the pork and other fillings completely, as you would when making Beef Wellington, by using a larger piece of puff pastry and making sure that the seams overlap and seal completely before baking.
  • The puff pastry packages can be assembled earlier on in the day, which will give the pastry time to chill completely before baking.
  • It is important that all the filling elements are cold before they go into the pastry, as any residual heat will melt the butter in the pastry layers and prevent it from rising as well as it should.
  • Other meat choices are beef tenderloin, chicken breast, salmon fillet.
  • By substituting Dijon mustard for the fig compote, you will add some heat and decrease the sweetness in the dish.
  • Goat cheese is another cheese that will work in the dish, adding tartness and creaminess.
  • By searing the outside of the pork in a very hot pan, the inside is still uncooked when added to the pastry, but the moisture has been sealed in. As the whole package of pastry and pork is well chilled before baking, the pork has time to cook through without overcooking by the time the pastry is done. This gives you a moist, perfectly cooked piece of pork inside the crispy pastry.

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