Soft Cheese Baked in Autumn Leaves

For a special autumn dessert, try soft cheese parcels and quince baked in autumn leaves
Soft Cheese Baked in Autumn Leaves
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 100 ml apple brandy, such as calvados
  • 100 g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 quince
  • 12 fresh autumn mixed leaves
  • 3 tbsp melted butter, for brushing
  • 3 individual soft cheese, such as Bath Soft Cheese, Cornish Gevrik or Capricorn
  • toasted walnut bread, to serve

Method

1. Heat the apple brandy in a pan and dissolve the sugar in it.

2. Grate the quince on the large holes of a grater, skin on, and discard the core. It will discolour immediately, but don't let that trouble you.

3. Tip the grated quince into the pan and coat it in the liquid. Put a lid on and keep on a very low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. It's done when the quince has broken down and taken on the texture of a thick apple sauce.

4. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3.

5. If you have fresh vine leaves, or using leaves from the garden, just blanch them in boiling, salted water for a couple of minutes to make them supple. The ones in jars or vac-pacs tend to be in brine, so just soak them in cold water for an hour, changing the water halfway through.

6. Lay two leaves on top of each other, with about half of the bottom leaf showing. Brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Repeat with the remaining 10 leaves.

7. Cut the individual cheeses in half across the middle so you have 6 circles of cheese and place one in the middle of each leaf. Share the quince compote between them, putting a blob on top of the cheese.

8. Bring the edges of the leaf up and around the cheese and secure with a couple of cocktail sticks. The aim here is to try not to leave any gaps at the sides, or your cheese could escape.

9. Put the leafy bundles on a lightly oiled tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes and serve just like that, all wrapped up in the leaves. Remember to take the cocktail sticks out first (and tell your guests not to eat the leaves). Goes well with a piece of toasted walnut bread.

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