These crisp, golden cauliflower cheese pastries are delicious as an appetizer, easy lunch or lunchbox snack and can be made in advance.
Well hello there crisp pastry goodness. Raise your hand if you could eat pastry in every single way, every single day (hey, that rhymes!). *raises both hands and a foot* I mean, how are you meant to not love pastry? With its beautiful crisp, golden exterior and its buttery interior? No sane person will say no to that. And then you add a filling of ooey-gooey cheese sauce and delicious cauliflower to it? Yes please!
Turns out that this idea was genius. These cauliflower cheese pastries are so incredibly good and they can be served piping hot from the oven or cooled to room temperature. They are perfect as an easy appetizer for Christmas but work just as well as a simple lunch with a zest salad or packed into lunch boxes. However they are served, I’m here for it.
Making ahead and freezing
- Make ahead: The pastries can be assembled up to a day in advance and kept covered in the fridge until ready to bake. Baked pastries can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 hours before serving.
- Freezing: The assembled pastries can be frozen until solid then transferred to a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Bake on a parchment line sheet pan until golden brown and heated through.
Puff pastry appetizers
- Cranberry and brie puff pastry wreath
- French onion soup puffs
- Pigs in a blanket wreath with maple-mustard dipping sauce
- Easy cranberry and Brie pastry puffs
Cauliflower cheese pastries
for the cauliflower cheese filling
- 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 heaped tablespoons flour
- 3-4 cups milk heated
- large handful grated mature cheddar
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt & pepper to taste
for the pastries
- 400 g (14oz) ready-made puff pastry thawed
- 1 egg beaten
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Steam the cauliflower until cooked but not mushy.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter then whisk in the flour to create a roux.
- Slowly pour in the milk (you might not need all of it) whilst continuously whisking and allow to cook over low heat until the sauce is thick and smooth (approximately 5-10 minutes). You want the sauce to be slightly thicker than a normal bechamel.
- Take the sauce off the heat and add the cheese, mustard and cayenne pepper and season to taste.
- Stir in the cooked cauliflower then set aside.
- Roll the pastry out on a flour surface then cut each roll into 6-8 squares.
- Place a pastry square on the baking tray then spoon in a generous spoonful of the cauliflower mixture. Bring four corners into the centre and pinch together slightly (they might come loose but that's fine).
- Continue until you've used all the pastry and all the cauliflower cheese mixture.
- Brush the pastries with beaten egg then place in the oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oven then top with grated parmesan cheese (optional) before serving.