Cheese Puffs with Onion Jam

– recipe courtesy Foodland Ontario;

Cheese Puffs with Onion Jam

Choux pastry is more familiar in desserts such as éclairs, but can also be used to make elegant appetizers, packed with a savoury filling. A food processor makes for a quick and easy method. Both the puffs and filling can be prepared ahead. Makes about 100 puffs and 3 cups Onion Jam.

For the Onion Jam:
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 lb Ontario red onions, about 8, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup Ontario dry red wine
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Salt and pepper

In large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft but not brown,
20 to 30 minutes.

Stir in wine; increase heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, until all the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

Stir in sugar; cook for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(Make-ahead: jam can be made up to three days ahead, cool, cover and refrigerate. Warm to use.)

For the Cheese Puffs:
5 Ontario eggs
½ tsp salt, preferably Kosher
1 cup water
¹⁄₃ cup unsalted butter
1 tsp each Dijon mustard and granulated sugar
¼ tsp hot pepper sauce
1 cup shredded Ontario Swiss-style or cheddar cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour

In small bowl, using fork, beat together one egg and a pinch of salt. Set aside for glaze.

In medium saucepan, bring water, butter, mustard, sugar, hot pepper sauce and remaining salt to a boil, stirring to melt the butter. Remove from heat and immediately add the flour all at once. Beat with wooden spoon until mixture is well combined and leaves the sides of the pan, about one minute. Cook over medium heat for two minutes, stirring constantly.

Transfer mixture to food processor and let cool two minutes. Add remaining eggs and process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until eggs are incorporated and mixture is thick, smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds. If too thick, add 1 tsp of the egg glaze. Add cheese and process for five seconds.

Using two small spoons, drop dough onto two parchment paper-lined sheets to form mounds 1-inch across, 1/2-inch high and 1-inch apart. Brush lightly with egg glaze. Bake in 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300°F.

Remove baking sheets from oven and pierce the side of each puff with sharp skewer. Return to oven and bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Place baking sheets on wire racks to cool until slightly warm, about 10 minutes.

Cut off tops with serrated knife to fill. Fill each puff with about 1 tsp of onion jam.

(Make-ahead: store cooled puffs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Warm puffs for three to five minutes before filling. Or freeze for up to three weeks. Place frozen puffs onto baking sheet; heat in 350°F oven until warmed through, eight to ten minutes.)