This Baked Feta with Pepper Jelly is wrapped in puff pastry and baked until golden brown and flaky. Along with the vegan feta and jelly, there’s an ample amount of whole grain mustard offering some zip, in addition to toasted pecans for a crunch. Once sliced, the melted cheese oozes out and is scooped up with crackers. The sweet and spicy pepper jelly combined with the melted cheese and flaky crust is literal perfection. An easy and impressive appetizer that’s just perfect for the holidays. Who could resist?
THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS BAKED FETA WITH PEPPER JELLY
If I remember correctly, I first had this appetizer when I was a young teenager during a Thanksgiving. My aunt had made a baked brie in puff pastry with some apricot preserves and served it with crackers. I remember thinking, ‘Gosh, this is decadent! Puff pastry with melted cheese that is then placed on a cracker/more bread!?’ It almost seemed too over-the-top but after I took a bite I stopped asking questions and let my eyes roll into the back of my head. Truth be told, this dish is over-the-top, and that’s precisely why everyone will love you for making it.
MY VEGAN TRANSLATION
When it comes to vegan brie, that can be hard to find. That’s not to say that you might have a local artisanal vegan cheesemaker in town that offers such a thing, but here in New Orleans- vegan brie that performs the way I want it to in a recipe such as this doesn’t exist. When I stumbled upon Trader Joe’s vegan feta block and took the first bite, I immediately thought it would work well as a baked brie.
Now, does this vegan feta have the texture of traditional feta? Hmmm, not really. Does it have the texture of brie? Umm, I think so? I haven’t had brie in over 17 years, so my memory is a bit fuzzy. But the texture of it is creamy and soft and it melts beautifully when baked.
If you can’t access a Trader Joe’s for this particular vegan feta, I am sorry to say that I don’t think this recipe will turn out quite as good. If you try using other vegan cheeses, go with your favorite block form variety and see what happens! I’m sure it will still be delicious but I just can’t say for certain. Please let me know in the comments if you do!
A BIG THANKS TO OUR SPONSOR
For today’s sponsor, I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the makers of Ball® home canning products! This post wraps up two years of working with them as an ambassador and it has been truly incredible. They are a dream client to work with because their products have been a part of my everyday life for as long as I can remember. Way before I even dreamed of starting a blog!
Using high quality and reusable glass jars is a great way to increase sustainability in the kitchen and home. I also find that it’s way more beautiful to use glass jars for storage than plastic. Their products encourage preserving food which is another sustainable practice that is pretty amazing if you ask me! Having the knowledge and tools to harvest fresh vegetables and fruit and then to be able to preserve them for the pantry is incredibly empowering. Ball® home canning products makes this possible for us all.
Today we are celebrating Ball® Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars! This is one of my favorite designs not only for storage and canning, but also as drinkware. Here we have the tall 12 oz version which I adore. You can purchase your very own 12 pack here!
APRICOT HABANERO PEPPER JELLY
For this recipe, I suggest using the Habanero Apricot Jelly that is already on the blog. Lucky for you, it is easy to make and yields a couple of jars. If you don’t have time to make some from scratch, you can use any pepper jelly that you’d like or can find. You can also use other kinds of jams or preserves. On the blog, I have a Fig Rosemary & Red Wine Jam that works beautifully here, as well. Lastly, I have seen similar recipes use raspberry jam which also sounds lovely.
ASSEMBLING THE BAKED FETA AND PEPPER JELLY
For the puff pastry, I like to use Aussie Bakery. The trick with this dough is defrosting it enough to where you can roll it out just a bit so you have a nice rectangle to place everything on. When you unfold the dough, you will notice 2 seams. These need to be pressed together and rolled out so that the dough becomes one cohesive sheet. If the seams are not closed, the fillings will ooze out of the puff pastry while baking and burn. In addition to rolling the dough, we will also be brushing a cornstarch and water mixture on the edges before folding. This will help seal the folded dough so that it bakes nicely and stays closed!
Below are the steps for assembly. I like the order of pepper jelly, mustard, pecans, feta and then repeat. Next, fold and drizzle with olive oil (to encourage browning) and a sprinkling of flaky salt. After that, transfer to a baking sheet and cook until golden and flaky.
BAKE, TRANSFER, AND SERVE
You’ll want to bake this in the center of a 400°F oven for about 40 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden all around. Once it is removed from the oven, use a thin spatula to transfer it to a serving plate or platter. You will want to serve this with a sharp knife to slice and some long crackers to scoop it all up. This is very messy to eat but that’s part of the fun! When shopping for crackers, I find that stores will put the fancy varieties by the olives and cheeses. The sturdier the cracker the better, as they work best to hold the filling.
ENJOY THIS BAKED FETA WITH PEPPER JELLY
And there you have my Baked Feta with Pepper Jelly! I cannot wait to hear what y’all think. If you do make this, please leave a comment and a rating below as this greatly helps the blog. Lastly, if you share it on social media, please tag me. I love to see it. Happy cooking, y’all!
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN
1 pre-rolled puff pastry sheet (9 x 9 inches) For this recipe, the best cheese to use is the vegan feta from Trader Joe’s. I have not tried using other cheeses.
10.5 oz vegan feta (1 block)*
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
¼ cup raw pecans
4 tablespoons Habanero-Apricot Jelly or desired jelly
½ teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
A drizzling of olive oil
A sprinkling of flaky salt
You can move the puff pastry from the freezer to the fridge to give it a head start on thawing. Then transfer it to the counter for about an hour, or until soft and pliable, before assembly.
1 pre-rolled puff pastry sheet (9 x 9 inches)
For this recipe, the best cheese to use is the vegan feta from Trader Joe’s. I have not tried using other cheeses.
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post that is part of an ongoing partnership with the Fresh Preserving Division of Newell Brands. They have provided jars, equipment and monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.