The mantra I use to get me through the holiday cooking season is simply, “Make Ahead”. I am all about getting things prepped as early on as I possibly can, whether it be for a ginormous Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or just a smaller, intimate get together. This is a great make-ahead appetizer for the holidays, or any time of the year, really! You can prep these beautiful little rolls earlier in the day, store them in the fridge, and then bake them up right before your guests arrive.
I started by grating about a cup of Gruyère cheese. Gruyère’s flavor is nutty and smooth, and it melts beautifully, so it’s the perfect choice for these little palmiers.
Once the cheese was ready to go, I got my pastry ready. For this, I just used frozen puff pastry that you can buy at the grocery store. I thawed a sheet out overnight in the fridge, but you could take it out of the freezer and leave it on the counter for 30-40 minutes as well.
I rolled the pastry out, just a bit, on a well floured surface, and then spread my honey-mustard over the entire thing. I didn’t have honey-mustard on hand, so I mixed together 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Dijon mustard and 1/2 Tbsp. of honey. It worked!
Once the mustard was spread on, I sprinkled that grated Gruyère over the top, and then sprinkled some finely grated Parmesan cheese over that.
Next, it was time for the ham. I had asked for very thinly sliced baked ham at my deli counter, and I laid the ham slices out evenly over the cheese.
Then, I placed a sheet of parchment paper on top of the ham and, using my rolling pin, gently rolled over the top of the ham and cheese to press it together evenly. Once that was done, I carefully peeled the parchment off of the ham.
I cut my pastry rectangle in half, and then tightly rolled one long edge in to the middle, and then the other edge. I repeated this with the other side of the pastry as well, and once the rolls were even, I pressed together the seam just a bit.
At this point, the rolls can be wrapped up and placed in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake them up.
Before I popped them into the oven, I sliced each band into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
Then, I laid them out on two cookie sheets and popped them into the oven!
The palmiers baked for about 10 minutes. They were perfectly perfect on top, but did brown up a little too much on the bottom. I’m thinking the honey (sugar) in the mustard is to blame for that. So, keep an eye on these little guys! Check on them after about 7 minutes, or so, and if they are cooked through, get them out before the bottom burns!
The toasty bottoms didn’t ruin them for me. They were still delicious! Salty, smoky ham, creamy, nutty Gruyère and sweet, tangy mustard all wrapped up in buttery pastry? How can that be bad?
HAM, GRUYERE & HONEY-MUSTARD PALMIERS
Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 1 sheet (9 oz.) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 2 Tbsp. honey Dijon mustard (or mix 1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon with 1/2 Tbsp. honey)
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 oz. very thinly sliced baked ham
- Heat the oven to 425* F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the sheet of thawed pastry to a 10×14 inch rectangle.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread the honey-mustard out evenly on the pastry, from edge to edge.
- Sprinkle on the grated Gruyère and Parmesan in an even layer.
- Arrange the slices of ham evenly over the cheese layer.
- Place a sheet of parchment or waxed paper over the top of the ham, and gently roll over and press the top with a rolling pin to help compress the layers. Carefully peel the parchment off of the ham without disturbing it.
- Cut the rectangle in half, widthwise, to make two 10×7 inch pieces.
- Gently roll one long edge of a band into the center, and then repeat with the other side so that the two rolls meet in the middle. Gently press together the seams to seal. Repeat with the other half of the pastry.
- *At this point, the rolls can be covered and refrigerated for a few hours until you are ready to bake them.
- With a very sharp knife, slice each band into 1/2 inch slices.
- Arrange the slices on two cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper.
- Bake until golden brown and no longer doughy in the center, about 10 minutes. *Check on the rolls throughout the baking time to make sure that they aren’t burning on the bottom!
- Let cool, slightly, on a rack before serving.
- Best served warm or within an hour of baking, if possible.