Rosemary Pork and Shallot Apple Puffs

I remember sitting on the floor of her bathroom, watching my mother unpack the pink compacts of Mary Kay cosmetics. I loved the way she wet the brush and applied a smoky blue shadow to her eyelids. She had a midnight hued dress, calf length with shoulder pads, cinched at the waist with a wide black belt and sensible gray high heels. I don’t know where my parents were going or what they did when we stayed home with a babysitter but that part of the evening, the getting ready – wearing a robe with a towel knotted on her head, wiping away a circle for reflection from a steamed up mirror, the lights bright, a cigarette smoking in the ashtray perched on the toilet tank, was so magical to me. It is pregnant with anticipation and I always feel the most beautiful while dabbing on moisturizer and swiping mascara on my lashes in my blue bathrobe with jewelry on and Rosemary Clooney blasting from the tinny iPad  speaker.

Rosemary Pork and Shallot Apple Puffs

These puffs would make a great party appetizer. And maybe they’re kind of a throwback and that’s why I was reminded of my mom in the eighties as I made them. Put them out for your next Tupperware party or meeting of the Junior Women’s Club. They’d be a perfect snacky thing to have on Halloween when everyone is hastily adding last minute sashes to costumes while the doorbell announces the earliest trick or treaters.

They are satisfying, sweet, and savory, like porky little packets of heaven. Making the tenderloin is completely easy. I used about 1/2 of one in the mixture for the filling and ate the rest with Violet for lunch. Of course, you could always make more puffs. I only used one of the two puff pastry sheets that came in the box, but double the shallot apple mixture, and you’re got enough to share. My first few were not so pretty, but once I figured out that I should fill, fold, and crimp on the baking sheet they started looking much less mangled. But it hardly matters. Once the squares are golden, puffed and fragrant with the flavors of fall, they will be devoured quickly no matter their appearance. Delicious, autumnal nostalgia in the making.

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Rosemary Pork and Shallot Apple Puffs
 
Author:
Serves: 12 puffs
Ingredients
For the shallot apple filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, diced
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
For the pork:
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the puffs:
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg + water, beaten
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
Method
For the shallot apple filling:
  1. In a medium sized saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté shallot until softened. Season with salt and pepper and add diced apples and cinnamon. Stir in honey, chicken stock and flour. Cook the mixture until bubbling, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in 1 cup pork, finely chopped. Let the mixture cool before filling pastry.
For the pork tenderloin:
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Rub tenderloin with rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear pork, 5 minutes per side. Use tongs to move pork to a baking sheet and cook, 15-20 minutes. Let the tenderloin rest before chopping. Mix with shallot apples.
For the puffs:
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out the puff pastry. Each third gets cut in half lengthwise and four times across to make 12. Add 1 teaspoon of filling to a square. Use fingers to dab eggwash around the edges. Layer a second piece of pastry. Trim excess dough as needed. Crimp with a fork. Brush on eggwash. Bake on a baking sheet for 18-20 minutes.
Rosemary Pork and Shallot Apple Puffs

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

2 Comments

  1. Sounds very good, and I’d like to make it for a party in December, but I’m confused about the “1 sheet of puff pastry” and the yield. Directions say, “…roll out the puff pastry. Each third gets cut in half lengthwise and four times across to make 12. What “third?” Do you divide the pastry into thirds, and then each one yields 12 squares? But that’ll yield 3×12/2=18 puffs, not 12. Would you please clarify? Thanks.

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