Life’s too short not to eat dessert first


And if you can’t…. then may eat something wrapped in pastry.  But in moderation. Mostly.

729 layers of pastry
729 layers of pastry

Puff pastry making isn’t for the faint of heart, or strictly speaking even for those with a weak heart, as the amount of butter in it, well, I’d better not tell you.

Sausage rolls ready for chilling
Sausage rolls ready for chilling

Sausage rolls are a failing of mine.  Love them, but only now and then, as I fully realise how bad they are for me!  But as I was making a batch of puff pastry to hone my Ballymaloe skills, I felt it was a good idea to use some of the puff to make a few nibbles.  That, and Nigel had bought me some sausage meat.

Sausage Rolls ready for eating
Sausage Rolls ready for eating

The next puff pastry item on the agenda was a chicken and ham pie.  I had boiled a ham, and had cooked chicken left over, so I very gently cooked some diced shallots in butter, then made a roux and added milk and then cream to make a rich sauce, to which I added the chopped cooked meat.

Pre-topping Chicken and ham pie
Pre-topping Chicken and ham pie

This then simply went into a dish and was covered in pastry.  And it went down a treat!  and it was gone before the photo got taken.

So what to do with the scraps? Why palmiers of course.  We had made these in class with our left over pastry so I thought it was fitting at home too.  One important thing to note is that normally with scraps of pastry they can be simply worked together and then re-rolled, but with puff pastry, and flaky pastry you need to keep the layers, so the scraps need to be stacked and then rolled out carefully again, you can fold, and then re-fold if necessary.

Some were a little more "caramelised" than others!
Some were a little more “caramelised” than others!

Palmiers are also called palm leaf cookies, elephant ear cookies, french hearts, shoe-soles or glasses, Schweineohren (in German), Palmeritas (in Spanish).  Palmier is the French word for palm tree, and the pastry gets its name from its resemblance to a palm leaf. It is crispy and flaky with tastes of butter and caramelized sugar. It can also be savoury. Although it is not documented who first came up with the recipe of Palmier, but many believe it is invented in the beginning of the 20th century France, suggested by the French name and its recipe.

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