These little Fennel Mascarpone Brie Puff Pastry Bites Recipe are pinch hitters when it comes to entertaining because they’re as fitting at a holiday cocktail party as they are at an Easter brunch.
I make the fennel filling and assemble them up to 2 days ahead of time and freeze them, then bake them (just a bit longer than listed below if frozen) as guests arrive.
Fennel Mascarpone Brie Puff Pastry Bites Recipe
For The Fennel:
- 2 medium fennel bulbs green tops removed and reserved
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 2 medium leeks
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
For The Puff Pastry Bites:
- 8 ounces all-butter puff pastry defrosted
- 4 ounces Fontina or Brie Cheese small dice
- 4 ounces Mascarpone cheese
- Reserved Fennel Fronds or Micro Greens for garnish
- Heat The Oven: Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Prepare The Fennel: Prepare the fennel by quartering it lengthwise, removing the core, and then slicing the fennel quarters crosswise into thin (about 1/8-inch) slices. Set aside until ready to use. TIP: If preparing ahead of time, store the fennel in ice water until ready to use.
- Saute The Fennel: Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When foaming stops, add the fennel (drained and patted dry if it was in ice water) , garlic, and leeks, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, thyme, and sugar and stir to coat.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is golden brown and fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. TIP: This can be done up to 3 days in advance.
- Prepare The Puff Pastry: On a clean work surface, lay out the sheet of puff pastry. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, cut the pastry into about 24 rounds, and lay flat on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Assemble Puff Pastry Bites: Place one rounded teaspoon of fennel on each round, top with 1 tablespoon grated cheese, and another small rounded teaspoon of fennel.
- Bake The Puff Pastry Bites: Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops of the tartlets are golden brown, and the puff pastry is cooked through. Top each tartlet with a small dollop of Mascarpone and a pinch of fennel fronds or micro greens. Serve immediately.TIP: You can make the puff pastry bites entirely (withough the Massscarpone andr fennel frond garnish) up to two days ahead. Store refrigerated in an airtight container and rewarm in a low oven before serving.