GINNA PARSONS: Apples, cheese a natural pair

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

I ran into my friend Marsha Tapscott at the grocery store Saturday. She and her husband, Mike, had just returned from a trip to New York state to visit their son, John, who is a freshman at Vassar.
Marsha was telling me about an apple orchard they visited where she bought the most amazing honeycrisp apple. This has always been one of my favorite apples, because it’s sweet, firm and a little tart, making it perfect for eating raw or for baking.
The next day when I was back at the grocery store (you know I can’t go a day without at least one trip), I picked up a half dozen of these beauties and used them as a centerpiece on the dining room table for a dinner party on Sunday.
Now that they’ve done their decorating duty, it’s time to dive into them.
Charlie and I love the pairing of apples and cheese. I grew up eating apple pie topped with thin slices of sharp Cheddar – instead of ice cream – and I can remember Mama making cheese fondue with cubed apples on more than one occasion.
I wanted to do something a little different with these apples so I went looking for a new recipe. What I found were these Gouda and Apple Pastries, which sound absolutely divine.
I imagine that by “tart apples,” the recipe is calling for some Granny Smiths, but I’m going to try it with two honeycrisps. You can also substitute Edam cheese for the Gouda, if you prefer.

Gouda and Apple Pastries
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped (for 2 cups)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
8 slices Gouda cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix the apples, lemon juice and zest. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples and toss to mix all together.
On a lightly floured work surface, unfold the pastry and roll into a 15×10-inch rectangle. Brush lightly with water.
With the short side of the pastry facing you, spoon the filling on the pastry and spread to within 2 inches of the short sides and to the edge of the long sides. Starting at the short side, roll jelly-roll fashion. Cut the roll into 8 slices, 11⁄4-inches thick. Place 2 inches apart on the greased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and place a slice of cheese on each pastry. Return to the oven just until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven, place pastries on a wire rack to cool.
Serves 8.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.