Need a wow of a brunch dish? This is it! Ham and cheese encased in crisp buttery puff pastry. Can anything compare to the crackly thousand (yes, thousand) layered buttery puff pastry? Hot, melt-in-your-mouth goodness? The pastry can be purchased but you might want to make your own. A tart salad alongside goes well. And why not start with Bellinis?
1 lb. puff pastry*
2 T Dijon mustard
¾ lb. good quality ham, cut into a ½-inch dice
½ lb. Gruyere cheese shredded on large holes of box grater
Egg wash made from I egg and 1 T water, beaten
Cut 1 lb. piece of puff pastry in half. Roll out to fit a 10 X 15 baking sheet. Place parchment paper or a silicone mat on the baking sheet. Transfer pastry sheet to baking sheet. Spread mustard over sheet leaving a 1-inch border. Evenly spread ham over mustard, also leaving 1-inch border. Sprinkle cheese on top of ham.
Roll out the other piece of puff pastry to 10 X 15. Place on top of cheese layer. With a small sharp knife cut the edges straight. Press indentations around the edge with the tines of the back of a fork. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Take out pastry and brush with egg wash. Cut a few decorative slits to allow steam to escape. Place cold pastry in hot oven. This gives the pastry a sudden burst of heat giving it a good start to its rise. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and puffed. Let cool briefly. Cut into squares and serve. Makes 6 servings.
*Puff pastry can be purchased. I strongly recommend the Dufour brand as it is made with butter. Have you tried making your own? Sure, it takes a while, but it’s fun, therapeutic (Beating the block of butter is a great stress reliever) and very much worth the effort. Most of the time is inactive. You just have to be hanging around the house that day. There’s a quick method and a regular method. The quick method involves cutting up the butter and working it into the dough, but honestly, I find the regular method not much more work and you get a higher rise from more layers. If you want to make your own, just email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you the recipe and process photos.
These recipes are by Phyllis Kirigin sweetpaprika.wordpress.com Phyllis is a resident of Croton-on-Hudson and is an avid cook and food blogger. She loves all things culinary, focusing on using fresh ingredients and promoting local farmers and artisans. She can be reached at [email protected]
Photo by Michael Kirigin