These Apple Bacon Cheddar Puff Pastry Bites are an ideal appetiser during the cold seasons. They have the most dreamy sweet and savoury combination, with the seasonal apple that goes so well with bacon. And it may surprise you, but a touch of mature cheddar is wonderful. It has a mild tangy flavour with just the right amount of saltiness that takes the combo to the next level. They are easy to make and only call for 5 key ingredients, just perfect!
With Christmas behind us now, it’s time to get down to work towards New Year’s Eve. Last year I shared these puff pastry bites on instagram and they were a huge hit, so this year I wanted to make sure they were featured on the blog. I hope you like this combination of apple with bacon and cheese as much as we do at home. I bet that they will be a success if you make them to your guests :).
Notes on these Apple Bacon Cheddar Puff Pastry Bites Ingredients
As usual, some notes on the ingredients for this recipe in case they can be of any help. Nevertheless, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to message me directly through social media or leave a comment at the end of this blogpost, I’ll do my best to answer it :).
- Puff Pastry: I use store-bought puff pastry in this recipe to make it as simple as possible. If you’re using frozen puff pastry, be sure to thaw it in the fridge first.
- Apple: for this recipe I prefer to use crispy and sweet varieties such as Royal Gala and Fugi, which also add a touch of colour with their reddish skin. The Fugi one stands out for being quite sweet, while the Royal Gala is not as sweet. Pink Lady and Golden would also work well. I would avoid Granny Smith as I find it a bit too acid for these bites. Regardless of the variety, you won’t need to peel them, but you will definitely need to core them, cut them in half and then finely slice them. A sharp knife should suffice, but you can also do it with a mandolin.
- Bacon: for this recipe I use thin strips because I cook it in the oven. Since I’m turning the oven on for pastries, I kill two birds with one stone. You can use bacon cut into cubes if you want a bigger bacon bite and make its flavour more noticeable. Finally, you can either use smoked bacon or regular one – pancetta would also work.
- Cheddar: it was thanks to Jennifer from The Lemon Apron that I discovered how good apple and cheese are together. Mature cheddar has a distinct flavour without being too strong (like a Parmesan), it has some sort of sweetness and saltiness to it at the same time, which pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the apple. I always buy a block of cheddar and grate it at home, so I make sure it’s only cheddar cheese, nothing else (grated cheese can sometimes contain starches to prevent it from clumping. These affects the final flavour and texture). A good Parmesan or Pecorino could also work well in this recipe.
Optionally, I give these Apple Bacon Cheddar Puff Pastry Bites a final touch of black pepper and thyme to add some aroma to the recipe. Rosemary or sage would also work great, but if you don’t have herbs you can definitely omit them.
How to Store These Puff Pastry Bites
If you have leftover bites, place them in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Although I find these are best enjoyed straight out of the oven, at its flaky prime. You could also freeze them. In this case, thaw them first overnight in the fridge and then bake them at 220ºC to get some of the crunchiness back. Alternatively you could also thaw them directly in the oven and leave them there until crunchy.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Can I cook the bacon on the stove?
Of course! I bake it just because, first of all, it can be cooked at the same time as the pastries in the oven (less energy and less fuss). Secondly, in terms of space, I can cook more bacon strips in one go in the oven, since my baking trays are larger than any of my pans. However, it can definitely be cooked in the pan until crispy.
Can I make these puff pastry bites ahead?
It’s preferable to make these Apple Bacon Cheddar Puff Pastry Bites and enjoy them right away, as over time the puff pastry softens and the hardened melted cheese doesn’t have such a nice texture as recently baked melted cheese.
If you really need to make them ahead, I would make them maximum half a day before, since the puff pastry gets soft over time. When it’s time to serve them, you can place them back in the oven for about 5 minutes at 220ºC. In any case avoid the microwave, since this would soften them more.
More Easy and Delicious Puff Pastry Appetisers
- Cheesy Ricotta Roasted Tomato Tart with Pesto
- Asparagus and Brie Flaky Pastries
- 5-Ingredient Savoury Puff Pastry Christmas Tree (you can make the rolls without the tree shape)
If you make this Apple Bacon Cheddar Puff Pastry Bites recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Apple Bacon Cheddar Puff Pastry Bites
- 1 sheet puff pastry - if using frozen puff pastry, thaw it the night before in the fridge
- 1 egg - beaten
- 2 apples - of a crispy and sweet variety like Royal Gala or Fugi) , cored, halved and thinly sliced
- 7 slices of bacon
- 70 g mature cheddar - grated
- Black Pepper - optional
- Fresh thyme - optional. Rosemary and sage would also work
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
- Place the bacon side-by-side on a baking tray.
- Roll out the puff pastry sheet and cut it into 16 equal squares. Transfer to a baking tray (if the puff pastry doesn’t come with parchment paper, line the tray with parchment paper first).
- Brush gently with the beaten egg and top each square with 3 or 4 apple slices, placed diagonally and overlapping each other slightly. Sprinkle with some grated cheddar. Optionally, crack some black pepper over them.
- Place the tray with the bacon and the tray with the pastries into the oven. Remove the bacon from the oven after 10-15 minutes, it should be crispy, and crumble it with a knife. Remove the puff pastry bites from the oven after 20-25 minutes, the edges should have puffed, they should look golden and the cheddar should have melted.
- Top each square with the crumbled crispy bacon and some fresh thyme if using it. Enjoy!
- If the puff pastry is very soft to touch after cutting it and transferring it to the baking tray, place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Same applies after having topped it with the apple slices and cheddar.