Monday, January 11, 2010

Herb-Cheese Palmiers...

When we made those pot pies a few weeks ago, I was left with a sheet of puff pastry that I tucked away in the freezer as I didn't have a plan for it at the time. I needed an appetizer recently, one that was either especially speedy or that I could get the work done ahead of time, and when I saw these Herb-Cheese Palmiers called for that lone puff pastry sheet in the freezer, I knew it was fate!

Since the pastry was frozen, it needed to be thawed before we could work with it. You can do in two ways - either on the counter for a half hour to an hour, or in the refrigerator overnight. I tend to prefer the latter because the sheets tend to thaw more evenly without making it sticky. With a few heavy pushes from a rolling pin, we stretched the pastry to not only even it out, but make for a greater work surface to pile on the filling.

Brushed with a restrained glug from a bottle of extra-virgin olive-oil, the pastry was topped with two types of grated cheese - extra-sharp cheddar and nutty Parmesan cheese. Fresh herbs adorned the bed of cheese - use a blend that you particularly enjoy, but we thought the suggested combo of oregano, sage and thyme was an outstanding choice. Even though the cheese brings some salt, you'll want to sprinkle the top with a bit extra to pull all the flavores together.

Covered in all of those ingredients, the rectangle was ready to be enclosed somewhat like a three-fold letter, then folded in half once more, lengthwise, to make a tight compact package. Since the pastry has now softened after being out of the ice-box for awhile, it is best to stick it back into the refrigerator to firm back up before you attempt to slice it. Thinly sliced and neatly assembled onto baking sheets, the raw pastry goes back into the refrigerator once last time to ensure the butter is very firm and cold to get the best puff possible. This may seem tedious, but it is one of the best parts about these palmiers!

They'll be ready to bake in a half hour, but you can assemble them up to this point and leave them, covered, in the refrigerator for a day or two! This way, when you need them, all you'll have to do is give 'em a quick egg wash and pop them into the oven until they are deeply golden brown. They may look small going in, but as the heat hits the buttery dough, each one puffs up into these sleek, light and incredibly flaky pastries that are impossible to stop at just one. Jeff did make a comment that a hint of heat from either a tiny sprinkling of cayenne or crushed red pepper would be a nice compliment to the sharpness of the cheeses.


  1. Yum. I think this is the first time I have heard of a savory palmier.

  2. Oooo yum. I seem to be rather partial to your cheesy concoctions! This is another one that has my mouth watering!

  3. Wow, I've never seen a recipe for one of these before. It looks so delicious. I really want to try it!

  4. what a great way to use up leftover puff pastry! great idea!

  5. Kelly - They were darn tasty!

    Risa - Give 'em a try!

    DC - Thanks.

    Suzanne - It's worth buying the pastry just for this one!