Strawberry Jalapeno Poppers
August 16, 2019 by Nicole Collins
I'm thinking today about the good ol' days when I was young and dumb.
Don't be silly. I'm not about to air out all of my dirty laundry! I like to give you those embarrassing stories in little tidbits.
I'm talking about the days when I thought that sweet, savory, and spicy couldn't mix!
Haha...sorry to disappoint.
I used to be so simple with my food. Before the days of fruit in salads. Before the days of chocolate on potato chips. I still remember the moment that sweet and spicy first mixed for me when I tried strawberry jalapeno jam.
One of my old employees had parents that loved to can. And, their favorite recipe to make was strawberry jalapeno jam. So, she used to bring in jars of the stuff to share with us. I'd never heard that combination before, and I thought it sounded quite disgusting. But, my staff seemed to love it.
So when they finally convinced me to try it, they served me a cracker with a schmear of cream cheese and a dollop of strawberry jalapeno jam. OMG. That bite changed my life! I became obsessed. I don't eat a lot of jam, but when I do, it's strawberry jalapeno jam now.
I remember going on the hunt for some so I could stock up. And, I finally found some at a local farmer's market. There were a few weeks where I was living off crackers, cream cheese, and jam.
This is a memory from a few years ago, but it was the inspiration for today's recipe.
Today, we're making Strawberry Jalapeno Poppers.
I LOVE jalapeno poppers, and I've always been team cream cheese filling as opposed to team cheddar cheese filling. So, I thought why not take that beloved cream cheese, strawberry jalapeno jam combo and turn it into a delicious appetizer!
We start by removing the ribs and seeds from a handful of jalapeno peppers. Keep them cut in half lengthwise to make little boats for stuffing full of softened cream cheese and strawberry jam. I chose to leave some of the stems on the peppers just for presentation purposes, but you can't eat them. So, feel free to chop them off too.
After we've got our peppers stuffed, we need to give them some breading. I hate frying, and I knew I wanted to make these poppers a baked treat. So, I thought about what else I could use to wrap these babies up, and puff pastry seemed like the right answer! The peppers get completely wrapped in a square of puff pastry, brushed with a little egg wash to help the pastry get golden brown, and baked until the pastry is crisp and the peppers are softened.
That's all it takes to get a fun and unique appetizer on the table in no time!
These poppers hit all of the flavor notes: spicy from the peppers, sweet from the jam, cool from the cream cheese, buttery from the pastry. My taste testers gobbled these up it no time, so I knew they were a hit from the first bite.
And even better, you could get creative a switch up your jam flavors if you'd like. I've had blackberry jalapeno jam and pineapple jalapeno jam before. Either flavor would be an interesting substitute here!
Alright, everyone. That's all I've got for today. Maybe next time I'll find some juicier dirty little secrets to share with you.
Until then...let's eat!
Strawberry Jalapeno Poppers
Serves: 12 poppers Print
6 jalapenos, cut in half lengthwise, ribs and seed removed
3 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup strawberry preserves
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1 egg + 1 tsp water, well beaten
flour, for dusting
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Stuff each jalapeno half with ½ tablespoon of cream cheese. Top cream cheese with 1 tsp of strawberry jam, trying to keep the filling level with the edges of the pepper as best you can.
Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out puff pastry to a 9 x 12 rectangle. Cut pastry into 12 (3x3in) squares. Brush the border of each square with egg wash. Place 1 pepper, filling side down, in the center of one square, aligning the top of the pepper with the top edge of the square. The stem of the pepper will not be wrapped. Wrap the pastry around the pepper, and pinch the edges to seal. Repeat with remaining peppers.
Place the wrapped poppers on prepared baking sheet. Brush the poppers with egg wash. Bake for 18-20 mins until the pastry is golden brown. Serve!
*Giving the preserves a good stir helps to loosen it up, making it much more spreadable.
*Even though the stems aren't edible, leaving them on makes for a nice presentation. Feel free to cut the stem and wrap the pepper completely in puff pastry.
*You could easily use both sheets of puff pastry that comes in the pack and double the recipe. You shouldn't need to make any more egg wash, either.