Friday, May 4, 2012

Apple Cheesecake Purses

A very long time ago at a family wedding, I tried a scrumptious little pastry purse filled with spinach and cheese.  It was so delicate and elegant, even tied with an edible green string of some herbaceous origin.  I was fascinated.  How could such a delectable treat also look so precious?  And thus started my obsession with fancy petite appetizers and finger foods.  Now, you can find them in the frozen section of the grocery store, which sadly, has eliminated most of the magic...

I recently spent some time with my Gram in Tucson and was inspired to recreate the pastry purse.  I made it with apples and cheese instead and it turned out fabulously.  Try this for a tasteful dessert at your next dinner party and your guests will literally  beg  for more.  

 2 T. Butter
3 large Fuji apples, peeled and chopped
1 t. Cinnamon
1/2 t. Nutmeg
Pinch of clove
2 T. Sugar

8 oz. cream cheese
3 T. powdered sugar
Orange zest

Puff Pastry
Egg, for brushing

In a medium skillet, sauté the apples, spices and sugar until apples have softened.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the cream cheese, sugar and zest.  Set aside.

Cut 4" circles in the puff pastry using a bowl as a guide.  Trim the edges so that you have flower, petal-like edges.  Dock the pastry with holes so that it does not rise as much as it normally would.  Sprinkle each disk with cinnamon and sugar.  Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the cheesecake mixture onto the puff pastry.  Top with a small amount of the apple mixture.  Fold each edge of pastry up and over the mixture and to the right so that each one slightly overlaps the next.  (Do not stretch the dough or it will just pull right back to its original size).  Set on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. 

In a small bowl, beat an egg with a bit of water.  Brush each puff pastry purse with the egg.  Bake the purse in the oven for about 6 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.  Serve with 

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