Cheese and Oysters? Welcome to Tomales Bay
A wonderful day trip from San Francisco, the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail connects six cheese makers located near scenic Tomales Bay. The trail includes the famous Cowgirl Creamery and Tomales Farmstead Creamery, whose Teleeka cheese is used for the pastry filling. The beautiful drive goes over the Golden Gate Bridge and along Highway 1 through Marin County. The route passes several oyster farms, including favorite Hog Island, and continues into Sonoma County and the Russian River Valley. Beware big mid-day crowds at the oyster bars whenever the fog clears.
Recipe courtesy Atelier by JCB, Yountville, California
This twist on a baked brie en croute (in pastry crust) was inspired by ingredients available from vintner Jean-Charles Boisset’s gourmet boutique, Atelier by JCB, in Yountville, California. While this recipe takes a little more work than the big, oozing mess you get with a whole wheel of Brie in the traditional version, it makes a finger-friendly appetizer so rich that you won’t need more than two morsels per person.
Find where to get the cheese at tolumafarms.com, or substitute another bloomy-rind, soft-ripened cheese.
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
- 4 ounces prosciutto, sliced thin and torn into 2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces Tomales Farmstead Creamery Teleeka, cut into 12 pieces
- 1 egg
- 2 apples, quartered, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices (optional)
Thaw puff pastry according to directions on box. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Heat oven to 400˚F. Dust work surface lightly with flour. Lightly dust both sides of pastry sheet with flour.
Using rolling pin, roll sheet to twice its original size. Cut the dough into 12 squares with a pizza wheel or sharp knife. Divide prosciutto among squares. Top prosciutto with cheese in center of each pastry square. Fold corners of each square over cheese, and firmly twist corners together at top.
In small bowl, beat egg with 2 teaspoons cold water. Brush surface of pastry with egg wash. Place pastry on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Bake until browned on top, about 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.
Serve with a side of apple slices, if desired. Serves 6.
These baked puffs use a creamy Marin County farmstead cheese blended from sheep, cow and goat milk. The crisp Thirty-Seven Wines 2015 Albariño was grown in the adjacent Sonoma Coast AVA, where the cool maritime climate is as healthy for sensitive wine grapes as it is for pampered dairy animals. The wine retains plenty of acidity amid layers of quince, white peach and lemon, so it quickly recharges the palate after each glorious cheesy bite.