I recently came across this recipe for a Beetroot and Goats Cheese Jalousie in Delicious: Simply the Best, and couldn’t wait to give it a try. I love pastry, and the photo accompanying the recipe showing pretty glimpses of the vibrant red beetroot visible poking out between slits in the pastry was so tempting I couldn’t wait to give this recipe a try.
A Jalousie (pronounced JAL-uh-see) comes from the French name for louvre windows, and is a French style pastry that consists slits, or cuts in the top layer of pastry, which provide a peek at the filling inside, much like a strudle. And I think those little glimpses of the purplish red beetroot and pink tinged goats cheese make this a particularly beautiful pastry.
The rich earthy tones of beetroot, which become sweet when made into the marmalade contrast so well with the tartness of the goats cheese in this that all it needs to accompany it is a simple green salad. It’s also delicious hot or cold, making it perfect for picnics, and equally wonderful enjoyed in summer and winter.
If you are short on time, and aren’t we all these days, simply get your hands on a jar of beetroot marmalade from a gourmet food store instead of making your own marmalade. It also saves the inevitable red stained hands that come with peeling and chopping beetroot, leading you to feel like an extra from True Blood or Boardwalk Empire.
By the way, if you haven’t seen Boardwalk Empire and love vintage clothing it’s well worth watching if for the beautiful costumes alone, although it really is a fantastic show in and of itself. Just watch it with someone who can warn you when the gory bits are over, because there are quite a few.
- BEETROOT MARMALADE:
- 2 medium sized beetroots
- 2 green apples, coarsely grated
- ¼ tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp of ground cloves
- 2 star anise
- 200ml of red wine vinegar
- 150g of caster sugar
- 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 300g of goats cheese
- 1 tbs of freshly picked thyme leaves
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and wrap the beetroot in foil and place in a roasting try. Roast for 1 hour, or until tender. Set aside to cool before coarsely grating.
- Combine the grated beetroot and apple in a saucepan along with the nutmeg, cloves and star anise. Add the red wine vinegar and caster sugar and place over a high heat. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to medium, cover and cook for 1 hour, or until thickened and reduced. Remove the lid and cook for a further 8 to 10 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and prepare the pastry. Cut the sheets of pastry in half and one sheet spread the beetroot marmalade over the middle of each half, leaving a 2cm border. Top with crumbled goats cheese and the thyme leaves.
- Using a sharp knife, cut slits in each half of the pastry, starting about 4 cm in from the edge, spacing each cut 1cm apart. Carefully place each half on top of the base and press to seal around the filling. Trim the edges and then brush lightly with beaten egg.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and puffed.