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Rye Gougères with Prosciutto, Arugula and Fig Compote


Here’s a savory, wine-friendly take on the classic cheese puff appetizer.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Frances Wilson


  • 1 ¼ cups non-fat milk
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 cup whole-grain dark rye flour
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ tsp. chopped thyme
  • pinch cayenne
  • egg wash: 1 egg plus pinch salt, beaten together


  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the water, butter and salt in a pot. Bring slowly to a boil. Do not let it boil until the butter has melted. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add in all the flour and the cocoa powder at once. Beat vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Return to the heat and cook for a minute or so to dry the mixture and until it forms a neat ball in the center of the pot.
  3. Beat the eggs in a bowl. With a wooden spoon or in a mixer, beat in the eggs a little at a time, making sure to incorporate egg addition well. The dough should be shiny and drop easily off the spoon. Beat in ½ cup of the Gruyère, black pepper, thyme and a pinch of cayenne.
  4. Place the dough in the piping bag fitted with the ½” pipe. Pipe the dough into 1” diameter rounds on a baking sheet, spacing them 1½” apart or use a spoon to drop the dough in mounds the same size.
  5. Brush the top of each mound with the egg wash. Top each one with some of the remaining cheese, divided evenly.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed and golden brown, rotating the tray after about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave on the counter for a couple of minutes. If it remains crisp, they are ready.
  7. Serve warm, filled with prosciutto, arugula or other bitter green and some Fig Compote.

Fig Compote


  • 2 Small Shallots, Peeled And Sliced
  • ½ Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 cups Fresh Figs Or 1 cup Dried Figs
  • 1 cup Port
  • 1 cup Water (If Using Dried Figs)
  • 2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar


  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan.
  2. Add the shallots and cook over a medium heat until they are soft.
  3. Add the figs, port and water (if using dried).
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer gently until all the moisture has been absorbed.
  5. Add the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Please visit J. Lohr’s Recipes page for additional recipes and pairing ideas.