It’s a little difficult to believe that almost two years have passed since I was eating my way around Paris. I seriously need to get back there. There was one bistro down by the Seine that had a dish I loved, as did all of us, but we couldn’t quite make it out at the time. Firstly the menu was all French and aside from the apple and goat’s cheese it was the pastry that had us all curious. Such a gorgeous combination, less than five ingredients, that we vowed to recreate as soon as we had the chance. It’s taken this long for me to get around to making brick des chèvre aux pommes at home but I partly blame it on pure laziness and the fact that brick (or brik) pastry isn’t all that easy to come by in this town.
This Tunisian pastry, one that has been adopted by the French, is made by dabbing a lump of dough onto a hot surface, quickly forming a circle of very thin, cooked pastry. You could liken it to filo pastry except it isn’t as fragile and as thin as it. It’s much easier to work with and, when cooked, has more of a bite.
The following recipe is my version of what we shared and thoroughly enjoyed at Le Trumilou. The slight tartness and bite from the apple, creaminess from the goat’s cheese and the fusion of brick pastry liberally brushed with butter before being baked all together. From memory the one we had in Paris didn’t contain fresh thyme but I threw it in anyway.
Cut the apples in half and then into 5 mm thick slices. Melt the 15 g butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced apple and quickly sauté on both sides until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Melt the remaining butter in a small dish. Take a sheet of brick pastry and brush it lightly with butter. Lay a quarter of the apples down the centre and top the slices with 50 g of the goat’s cheese. Sprinkle over ¼ teaspoon of the thyme leaves. Take the bottom half of the pastry and fold it up and over the filling, pressing down gently. Tuck the sides in and then tightly roll the whole thing into a cigar shape. Repeat with the remaining parcels. Place the parcels into a buttered baking dish, or on a lined baking tray, and brush with more butter. Sprinkle over the remaining thyme leaves.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot or at room temperature with a green salad.