Categories: Recipes

by leslie@mindstorm.ca

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Categories: Recipes

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Dufour Pastry Kitchens

From The Book “Puff” By Martha Holmberg, Photographs By Ngoc Minh Ngo

Makes 48 hors d’oeuvres

These hors d’oeuvres are flaky, chewy, and impossibly good with a chilled glass of riesling. The palmier (PAHL me yay) is a classic shape in French pastry that’s easy to form and that shows off fillings beautifully. Here, I layer mustard, ham, and Gruyère cheese with the pastry, so the flavors are classic, too. Get the ham sliced very thinly at the deli counter. If the ham falls apart a bit, that’s okay; you can piece it together as you assemble the palmiers.

1 sheet (about 9 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 ounces (about 1 cup) grated aged Gruyère cheese

1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) freshly and finely grated Parmesan cheese

4 ounces very thinly sliced good-quality baked ham, such as Black Forest

Position the sheet of pastry on a lightly floured counter so that a short side is closest to you. Roll the pastry into a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. Trim the edges, if necessary, to make the rectangle neat.

Using the back of a spoon or an offset spatula, spread the mustard over the pastry. Distribute the Gruyère and Parmesan evenly over the surface. Arrange the ham in a single even layer, tearing or cutting pieces to fit. Lay a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper on top and gently compress the layers with the rolling pin. Peel off the paper without disturbing the ham.

Cut the rectangle in half widthwise to make two 10-by-7-inch bands. With your fingers, gently roll one long edge of one of the bands into the center and then roll the opposite edge in so the two rolls meet in the middle and resemble a double scroll. Press lightly so the rolls stick together (spread a few drops of water where the two rolls meet to help them stick, if you need to). Repeat with the second band. Wrap the rolls in plastic and chill in until they firm up, at least an hour the refrigerator or 30 minutes in the freezer.

When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 425 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (or use nonstick baking sheets). With a very sharp knife, slice each roll into 24 pieces, arrange them on a sheet at least 1 inch apart, and bake until the pastry is nicely browned and flaky (break one apart to be sure it’s not still doughy in the center), and the cheese is melty but not burned, 10 to 12 minutes. If your oven doesn’t heat evenly, swap the pans’ positions halfway through cooking. Transfer the palmiers to a cooling rack. Serve just slightly warm or within the hour, if possible.

Do ahead

You can assemble the rolls to the point just before slicing and freeze them for up to one month. To refresh any leftovers, reheat them in a 350-degree F oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

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