Winners of our 2010 fresh cheese contest

The Apple Fromage Torte and Savory Egg and Ricotta Squares wowed us from the start

Apple Fromage Blanc Torte: Fresh cheese dessert recipe
Photo: Photo: Thomas J. Story

Best Brunch

SAVORY EGG AND RICOTTA SQUARES WITH SHIITAKES AND ARUGULA

Serves: 4

Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Created by Jamie Brown-Miller, of Napa, CA

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1½ cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup lightly packed arugula
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (from the February 2010 issue of Sunset)
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp. sriracha (garlic chili paste)
  • 1 cup fresh fromage blanc (from the February 2010 issue of Sunset)

1. Preheat oven to 425° degrees. Slice puff pastry sheets into quarters and place 4 on an ungreased baking sheet. Chill all 8 puff pastry squares while you make the filling.

2. Whisk together eggs and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat and swirl to coat pan. Add mushrooms, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the pepper; cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until mushroom edges begin to brown. Stir in garlic and arugula and cook until arugula wilts.

3. Add egg mixture and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until eggs are almost set. Fold in ricotta and let cool 5 minutes.

4. Spoon egg-ricotta mixture into center of each pastry square, dividing evenly. Place a reserved square on top, aligning the edges and pinching together. Poke center of each square with a fork. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Melt remaining 1 tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add tomatoes and sriracha and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

6. Transfer squares to four plates, then top each with 1/4 cup fromage blanc. Spoon tomatoes over fromage blanc, dividing evenly.

More: How to make and cook with fresh cheese

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