These puff pastry pockets are simple to make and freeze beautifully. Have them ready to pop in the oven throughout the holiday season.
Photo copyright © 2008 by Leigh Beisch
In the fall, as the rains come, the ground dampens, and the leaves fall, the farmers’ markets start brimming with wild mushrooms. I bring home a bagful, clean and chop them, and then sauté them in butter or olive oil. I first made this filling for omelets and decided it would be ideal for hors d’oeuvres.
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry dough (from a 17.3-ounce package)
- 1 pound assorted wild and cultivated mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake, and chanterelle, wiped or brushed clean, stem ends trimmed
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- 1 large egg, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
How to make it
Remove the pastry sheets from the package and let thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.
To make the mushroom filling, chop the mushrooms finely and set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the shallots and sauté for about 2 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes until they just begin to soften. Add the salt and a few grinds of pepper and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes longer until the mushrooms give off their juices. Add the parsley, dill, thyme, and goat cheese to the pan. Sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes longer until most of the liquid has evaporated and the goat cheese is blended in. Remove from the heat. Set aside and let cool.
Position one rack in the center and a second rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425°F. Have ready 2 rimmed baking sheets, preferably nonstick. For pans without a nonstick finish, line the pans with parchment paper or use Silpat mats.
Unfold 1 of the pastry sheets and place it on a lightly floured cutting board. If there are any cracks in the pastry, gently pinch them closed. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll over the pastry gently, just enough to remove the fold marks, and then roll it out into a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the pastry sheet lengthwise into four 2 1/2-by-15-inch strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 6 equal pieces to form a total of twenty-four 2 1/2-inch squares. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry.
Brush each square with the egg wash on the side facing up. Put a rounded teaspoon of filling in the center of each square. Gather the four corners and bring them up to the center, pinching the dough together firmly to secure it at the point, forming square pouches. Leave the seams along the edges open so some of the mushroom filling shows. Transfer the mushroom pockets to the baking sheets, placing them about 1 inch apart. Lightly dab the sides of the pockets with any remaining egg wash.
Bake for 10 minutes, switch the position of the baking sheets, and continue to bake for about 4 to 6 minutes longer until the pockets are puffed, golden brown on the sides and bottom, and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 48 pockets.
The mushroom filling can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Remove the filling from the refrigerator 1 hour before filling the pastry pockets to soften it slightly. The mushroom pockets can be made and assembled completely and frozen, unbaked. Freeze the unbaked pastries on rimmed baking sheets, and then transfer them to a freezer container, arranging the pockets in layers between sheets of waxed paper. The pastries can be frozen for up to 1 month. Bake the pockets without thawing first; the baking times will be longer, about 20 to 25 minutes, so follow the recipe’s doneness cues.
Excerpted from New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan. Text copyright © 2008 by Diane Morgan. Photos copyright © 2008 by Leigh Beisch.