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Gruyère Cheese Puffs

  • ACTIVE: 25 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
  • SERVINGS: makes about 3 dozen
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

Jane Martin, the chef on the barge Prosperité, makes a rustic, free-form version of gougères, the rich, crisp pastries typically served in Burgundy with the local Chardonnay. She just spoons the batter onto a baking sheet instead of fussing with a piping bag. Whatever the shape, these puffs are delicious.

  1. 1 cup water
  2. 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 3 large eggs
  6. 2 1/2 ounces Gruyère cheese, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2/3 cup)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water with the butter and salt and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the flour all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth and pulls away from the side of the pan. Beat for 1 minute longer over the heat to dry out the batter. Remove from the heat and let the batter cool for 5 minutes. Beat in 1 egg at a time, beating well between additions. Stir in the cheese and pepper.
  3. Drop tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make Ahead The baked puffs can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw and reheat in a 350° oven for 5 minutes.