Easy Peasy Flaky Pastry Palmiers
These palmiers are perfect as party nibbles. I’m trying to get ahead for a dinner party I’m hosting in a months time, so I’m freezing them so that they can be thawed and cooked on party day. The pastry is ridiculously easy and results in a delicious melt in the mouth, light and flaky pastry. The palmiers can be any flavour you can imagine. Cinnamon and sugar, Palma ham, anchovies, cheese and olive tapenade all work well. Today I’ve opted for pesto
175g or 6 oz butter or margarine in a block
225g or 8 oz plain flour
Cold water to mix
Measure out your butter or margarine and place in the freezer for as long as you can. Several hours is best so that the block is frozen solid.
Preheat the oven to 210°C (fan oven)/ 220°C/ Gas Mark 7 and lightly grease a baking tray if cooking the palmiers right away
Sieve the flour into a bowl. Wrap the butter or margarine in foil and coarsely grate it into another large bowl, dipping the block into the flour all the time. This dipping helps to coat each grating of butter or margarine in flour and will give the lovely flake to the pastry.
Once you have grated all the fat into the bowl, tip the remaining flour on top and stir around with a palette knife. Using a palette knife rather than your hands will keep the mixture cold and prevent any of the butter from melting which would undo all the good work of grating the fat. Add cold water a couple of desert spoonfuls at a time until a dough forms which leaves the bowl clean and use your hands to gently bring everything together. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for half an hour in the fridge.
Once chilled, roll the pastry out to a rectangle measuring roughly 30 by 20cm on a slightly floured surface. Spread pesto across this rectangle and sprinkle with parmesan. Take the two longest edges and fold them over into the middle. Now the spread this top edge with pesto and sprinkle with parmesan, and again fold into the middle. Gently pinch the pastry roll together and cut into 5mm pieces with a sharp knife. Place these on your work surface and slightly flatten them with the palm of your hand.
If cooking the palmiers straight away, transfer them onto the baking tray, leaving a small gap between each one. Bake in the oven for 10-15 until crisp and golden. If you’re freezing the palmiers for later, place them on a baking tray or chopping board and freeze them in one layer. Once frozen, they can be transferred into a container and just need to be thawed before cooking as above.
The palmiers can be served warm or cold and always go down a treat.