Puff Perfected


In Boulder we finish school earlier than most kids in the U.S. Tomorrow is our final PTA meeting and I decided to host it with tipples and nibbles. A perfect opportunity to try a recipe from Martha Holmberg’s new book Puff – 50 Flaky, Crunchy, Delicious Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts made with Puff Pastry.  Holmberg is the current food editor at The Oregonian and past editor of Taunton’s Fine Cooking, so she knows a thing or two about writing recipes.

I chose to make the Ham and Cheese Palmiers, but yes, I cheated and used Dufour’s premade frozen puff pastry. I think is is exceptional and although someday I will make puff pastry again (and Holmberg’s book has a great how to section on making puff from scratch) I don’t have a lot of time. These palmiers can be made a few days a head.

Ham and Gruyere Palmiers

4 ounces very thinly sliced Ham. I used applewood smoked ham from Niman Ranch
3 ounces of finely grated Gruyere cheese
1 package Dufour Puff Pastry
Whole Grain Mustard (Holmberg uses Dijon but I was out)

Slightly defrost the puff pastry, just enough so that it gives gently when you touch it. On a floured surface roll one of the 2 sheets into an even rectangle . Spread the mustard on evenly. Place the ham on and then sprinkle generously with the cheese to cover the whole sheet. With the shortest side facing you, bring start by rolling the two longest sides into the center (as in picture above.) Gently lift onto some parcment paper and roll it up. Freeze until firm or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Slice the palmiers into 1/4 inch slices. Place 1/2 inch a part on baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.  Allow to cool slightly before moving to a serving plate.

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