need an extra hour to put the finishing touches on dinner without suffering the hangry stares of the masses. But who wants to make ANOTHER dish, especially if you are low on time, energy, and ingredients? The answer: put it in a palmier!
Palmiers are elegant, savory, deceptively simple French pastries that can be made with quite literally anything you have laying around in your refrigerator. Have some leftover deli slices from this week's lunch? Schmear on some mustard and put it in a palmier. Nothing around besides raspberry jam and cheddar cheese? Put it in a palmier. Extra tomato sauce laying around? Sprinkle on some extra Parmesan cheese and oregano and put it in a palmier.
If you keep a box of frozen puff pastry dough around, you will never be left without an astonishingly simple and deceptively fancy snack for your pre-dinner crowd. Another excellent attribute of palmiers is that they can be made way in advance by assembling them and throwing them into the refrigerator or freezer for up to a week, and then into the oven about an hour before you want to eat them. All you have to do is roll out the pastry, spread on your toppings, fold, cut, and bake. Have I made my case yet for the palmier?
into a gorgeous paste, and then topping it with bits of Roquefort cheese. This cocktail hour snack is crunchy, creamy, savory, salty, and a bit sweet. I absolutely love the crunchy seeds of the figs, and the rosemary really cuts through the richness of it all. This snack pairs excellently with almost any wine or beer of your choice, and is guaranteed to impress.
10-12 dried figs
3 full rosemary stalks
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1/2 lb Roquefort*
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted but still cold from the
(*Note* If you aren't as excited by strong cheese as I am, feel free to replace the Roquefort with cream cheese, but definitely add another half tablespoon of salt to the fig mixture.)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the hard stems of the figs with a knife. Throw the whole figs into a small pot and add enough water to come halfway up to the figs. Strip two of the rosemary stalks of their needles and add them to the pot. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer the figs on a medium flame until they are very soft (about 10-14 minutes). If your water evaporates before the figs are soft, add in another 1/2 cup.
Once the figs are soft, place them into a food processor along with the rosemary needles, the remaining cooking liquid, and the salt and pepper. Process the mixture until it comes together in a spreadable paste. If the mixture is too
thick or sticky, add a bit more water to loosen it up.
Use a bit of flour to dust your counter top and a rolling pin and roll out the puff pastry until it is a few inches wider on all sides. Don't be too worried about this step. You just want the pastry to be a bit thinner than it was when it came out of the package. Generously spread the fig mixture onto the pastry. You may not end up using it all, but definitely spread it all the way out to the edges of the pastry.
Pinch off small pieces of Roquefort with your fingers and dot the top of the fig layer with it. Like the fig mixture, you may not end up using all of the cheese, but you definitely want to be generous with it. Strip the last rosemary stalk of it's needles and chop them up coarsely. Sprinkle the chopped needles over the Roquefort layer.
Now for the rolling: Roll the right side of the pasty up like you are rolling a poster, but stop when you come to the middle of the sheet. Now roll up the left side of the pastry exactly the same way. Using a very sharp knife, cut the rolled pastry into half-inch slices. Place each slice cut-side down onto the baking sheet. Bake the palmiers for 35-40 minutes, or until they are crispy, brown, and bubbling.