Italian Apricot Pastries with Cheddar

Moderate
Serves 6
Vegetarian
Ingredients: 
  • 11 oz. Kowalski's Dried Apricots
  • - hot water
  • 1/2 pkg. puff pastry sheets, thawed but still cold
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • - zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup Kowalski's Honey, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Kowalski's Fresh Thyme leaves, plus small sprigs for garnish
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. of water
  • - turbinado sugar
  • 4 oz. Milton Creamery Prairie Breeze Cheddar Cheese, cut into 8 slices
Instructions: 

Soak apricots for 20 min. in a shallow baking dish with just enough hot water to cover; set aside. Cut a pastry sheet into 6 rectangles (about 4.5" x 3.5" each) and transfer 1" apart to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; freeze for 5 min. Using a butter knife, lightly score a 1/2" border around the edge of the pastry sheet. Prick the center of the pastry squares all over with a fork; brush with egg wash. Drain apricots and squeeze to remove extra liquid; coarsely chop. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the chopped apricots with walnuts, zest, salt, honey, lemon juice and thyme leaves. Divide mixture evenly among the pastries, to the scored border (do not let mixture drip or fall off the pastry onto the baking sheet or it will burn); sprinkle border with sugar. Bake in a preheated 375° oven until puffed and golden (about 20-22 min.); let stand 10 min.

To Serve: Transfer pastries to plates; drizzle with honey and garnish with a slice of cheese and fresh thyme sprig.

Notes:

  • Look for Kowalski's Dried Apricots in the Bulk Foods Section.
  • The filling for these pastries make a delicious mix-in for plain Greek yogurt.