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Sometimes, you are invited to two or three apéro/cocktail/dinner parties in one weekend. And clearly, you don’t want to show up empty-handed. And it just so happens that it’s the enchanting time of year when lush, shining berries and figs, leaking juice, are all over the markets. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, make these. Take them to parties on a pretty tray.

Or, just make them on a whim one afternoon because you’re bored, then eat all of them by yourself. I won’t tell.

Summer Berry Goat Cheese Squares
Adapted from Shutterbean

I found blackberries, figs, and the tiny, wild, imperfect strawberries known as fraise du bois at the greenmarket. Since wild strawberries are so delicate, I didn’t want to bake them in the oven like I did with blackberries, so I did baked half of the puff pastry squares with cheese and blackberry and half with only cheese. If I’d been thinking ahead, I would have baked the second half with pieces of fig — ah well, next time.

I used chèvre Sainte-Maure, which is a goat cheese that comes in a log with a white, powdery rind, similar to that of brie. The original recipe from Shutterbean was designed with a creamy, stirrable chèvre in mind, so I had to change a few things to work with the cheese I had.

Makes 24-30 squares

6 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1 8oz package of puff pastry, thawed
1/2 pint blackberries
1/2 pint fraise du bois
1 fig
2 tsp balsamic reduction
24 mint leaves

Preheat oven 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment & set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest and honey together. In another small bowl stir the blackberries with the balsamic vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes. Cut the fig into small pieces, about 1cm square.

On a lightly floured surface, cut the puff pastry into 2-inch squares. Place squares onto the parchment lined sheet about 1 inch apart and score a square into the pastry, making sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom. Dock the centers of the squares with a fork.

Place a slice of goat cheese on top of each square and drizzle on a bit of the lemon-honey mixture. Top half of the squares with blackberries and half with fig pieces. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Remove squares from oven; add a fraise du bois and a mint leaf to each square. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Music to cook by: Love on Top [Outliar // Beyonce Cover]

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