Puff pastry caprese bites on a serving board

Caprese Pastry Bites

These puff pastry caprese bites, made using ready-rolled puff pastry, are quick, simple and eye-catching. Perfect for any party table!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, British, Italian
Keyword Christmas, Party Food, thanksgiving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 20 caprese bites
Author Nicky Corbishley

Ingredients

  • 14 oz (400g) pack ready rolled Puff Pastry
  • 1 egg lightly whisked
  • 10 mozzarella pearls (use vegetarian mozzarella if needed)
  • 5-7 sundried tomatoes chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil pesto
  • 20 baby basil leaves or a few large basil leaves, torn

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200c/400f and line a baking tray with baking parchment or a silicone liner.
  • Unroll the pastry and brush with egg wash, then slice the pastry in half width-ways and place one piece on top of the other, so you have two layers of pastry (don't sandwich the egg wash together - there should be an egg wash layer in the middle and one on top).
  • Cut the pastry into approx 20 small squares (4 squares by 5 squares).
  • Place the squares on the prepared tray and bake for 10 minutes. Then take out of the oven.
  • Slice the mozzarella pearls in half (*tip 1) and place a piece on top of each of the pastry puffs. Place back in the oven for 1-2 minutes to melt the mozzarella.
  • Place the puffs on a plate and top each one with a piece of sundried tomato and a small blob of pesto. Decorate with fresh basil leaves, then serve.

Notes

*Tip 1: I like to slice the pearls in half, then slice a tiny bit off the curved end so it's more like a disc. This will help the mozzarella not to fall off the pastry when it's in the oven.
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Can I make them ahead?

I think these pastry bites taste best hot or a little warm. If you want to get a head start on them you can cook the pastry squares first, then cool them and place them in an air-tight box at room temperature up to two days ahead. Then reheat for 1-2 minutes in a 200C/400F oven before adding the mozzarella and finishing the bites with the tomato and pesto toppings.
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Can I make them gluten free?

Yes! You can use ready-rolled gluten free puff pastry in place of regular puff pastry.  I find gluten free pastry doesn't go as puffy (if you know of one that puffs nicely i'd love to know, drop me a comment please!), and it browns more quickly, so I bake it for a couple of minutes less. The gluten free ones still went down really well when I last made them.
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Other topping ideas?

I think the cheese element works well on these, but you can swap out the mozzarella for brie/camembert or your favourite meltable thinly sliced cheese - such as gouda or applewood.
Mix and match the sauce element with toppings such as chutney, red pesto, cranberry jelly, chilli jam or mustard.
Then finish off a little crunch or bite such as pickled veg, bacon bits, slivers of beef or salmon.
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Other party table/appetizer ideas?

Here are some of my favourites!
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Nutritional information is per caprese bite.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 32mg | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.6mg
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