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Pimiento Cheese Gougère

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Pimiento Cheese Gougères are delightful, cheesy puffs that combine the classic French gougère with the Southern charm of pimiento cheese. These savory pastries are perfect for appetizers, snacks, or even as an accompaniment to a meal. Let’s dive into the step-by-step recipe to create these delicious puffs.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk (for brushing)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups flour
  • 125 grams beef butter or margarine
  • 200 grams beef cheese, shredded or finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pimientos, finely chopped

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Dough

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Boil Water and Butter:
    • In a large saucepan, combine the water, beef butter (or margarine), and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted.
  3. Add Flour:
    • Once the mixture reaches a boil, add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Cool the Dough:
    • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the dough cool for about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Incorporate Eggs and Cheese

  1. Add Eggs:
    • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until fully incorporated. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.
  2. Add Cheese and Pimientos:
    • Stir in the shredded beef cheese and finely chopped pimientos until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Step 3: Shape and Bake the Gougères

  1. Shape the Gougères:
    • Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop rounded mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  2. Brush with Egg Yolk:
    • In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with a tablespoon of water. Brush the tops of the gougères with the egg yolk mixture to give them a golden, shiny finish.
  3. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the gougères are puffed and golden brown.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Cool and Serve:
    • Allow the gougères to cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Cheese: Use a flavorful beef cheese, like cheddar or gouda, for the best taste. Ensure it’s finely shredded or chopped to mix well with the dough.
  • Pimientos: Finely chop the pimientos to evenly distribute their flavor throughout the gougères.
  • Dough Consistency: The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky after adding the eggs. If it’s too dry, add a small amount of water. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour.

Variations

Spicy Pimiento Cheese Gougères

  • Add Heat:
    • Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to the dough for a spicy kick.

Herb-Infused Gougères

  • Add Herbs:
    • Stir in 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, or thyme for an extra layer of flavor.

Gluten-Free Gougères

  • Gluten-Free Flour:
    • Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend to make these gougères gluten-free.

Serving Suggestions

As an Appetizer

  • Appetizer:
    • Serve the gougères as a delightful appetizer at parties or gatherings, paired with a selection of dips or spreads.

With Soup

  • Soup:
    • Pair the gougères with a warm bowl of tomato soup or bisque for a comforting meal.

With Wine

  • Wine Pairing:
    • Enjoy with a glass of white wine, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, to complement the cheesy flavor.

FAQs

Q: Can I make these gougères ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 2 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the unbaked gougères on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. Bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

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Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store any leftover gougères in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat in a warm oven to restore their crispiness before serving.

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Q: Can I use a different type of cheese? A: Yes, you can use any type of hard or semi-hard cheese that you prefer, such as Swiss, Gruyere, or Monterey Jack.

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Q: What if I don’t have pimientos? A: You can substitute roasted red peppers or leave them out entirely if you prefer.

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Q: Can I make mini gougères? A: Yes, simply drop smaller mounds of dough onto the baking sheet and adjust the baking time accordingly, checking for doneness after 15-18 minutes.

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Pimiento Cheese Gougères are a delightful, savory treat that’s perfect for any occasion. These cheesy, flavorful puffs are sure to impress your family and friends. Enjoy making and sharing this delicious recipe!