Food You Can Eat: Cousin Matt’s “Italian” Palmiers

I'm going to enter this in the next Pillsbury Bake-Off

Image via The Food Network. This is from Ina Garten and her ingredients bear no resemblance to what you'll make but it shows what a palmier is.

Have you ever made palmiers? They’re fun. Here is a recipe that apparently I invented on my lonesome, because I can find no corresponding images to illustrate with exactly these ingredients. They’re usually pastries but mine is a savory version, created out of boredom years ago. I usually make these as appetizers but I, bored again, made them last night and served them up to the unsuspecting Matt’s Kitchen Taste Tester and gave some extra prosciutto to The Ravenous Hound. I was just at the point of rolling little bits of his kibble into some sliced but not chopped prosciutto, so he could get into the spirit of things, when I was rudely interrupted.

1 sheet of thawed frozen puff pastry, because you can not make your own puff pastry. The puff pastry should be 10” long, but I think this is somewhat of a standard size. 

A blend of a little olive oil, a splash of red vinegar, and some oregano powder. You don’t need a lot of this, as you’ll see. Just enough to brush on the pastry dough WHICH YOU CANNOT AND DID NOT MAKE YOURSELF. Aim for about 1/4 cup or even less. You can also squeeze on a little Italian dressing when the time comes.

1/3 lb. prosciutto. This will probably come pre-shaved or pre-sliced, but chop it even more, no bigger than 1/2” by 1/2”. Reserve a little or add more to the shopping cart for The Ravenous Hound, who would enjoy his own version of a palmier.

3 oz., mozzarella, shaved. I shave this over the palmier sheet so do what you think looks good, but 3 oz. is about what I use. 

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Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface and brush with the olive oil mixture or the Italian dressing. Not a lot; you don’t want the dough to soak through. Add the prosciutto evenly up to about 1/2” on all sides. Shave over the mozzarella and again stay away from the edges.

What makes this a palmier instead of the more common pinwheel is you roll the dough and the toppings from one edge toward the center, then from the opposite edge you do the same, so the two rolls meet in the middle. 

Wrap this tightly in cling film and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Take it out, unwrap, preheat an oven to 400 degrees, spray a large baking sheet with something non-stick, and slice the palmier tube into 1/2” disks. You should get 20 out of them. Place the Chosen 20 on the baking sheet, bake, then take them out after about 12—14 minutes, less if you’re using my particle accelerator oven. With any luck the pastry will have browned but not burned, and you won’t have saturated the dough with the olive oil mix/Italian dressing.

These are best served warm but they make excellent leftovers straight from the fridge. I bet a couple of these would snap you out of a hangover with a quickness, for example.

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9 Comments

  1. Frozen puff pastry dough is an amazingly versatile kitchen staple – I agree with you on all counts, Cousin M. Also, looks easy and tasty…and you could make a sweet version by brushing with butter and sprinkling some cinnamon, sugar, and shaved chocolate before rolling, instead.

    • Palmiers are incredibly versatile. They’re almost like crepes, you can fill them with anything. In that image above, Ina has used pesto, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and pine nuts. The only limit is you can’t stack your fillings too high, otherwise they won’t roll the way you want them to.

  2. Cousin Mattie, visit any midwestern party in the fall/winter/spring and expect to see some variation of “savory item and cheese in rolled puff pastry”

    LOL, I make them with spinach and smoked gouda for holiday get-togethers. Although fully admit I just do a pinwheel, not the fancy palmiers.

    • I was actually going to do a post on Pinwheels I Have Known but that would be like, “Food You Can Eat: Cookies.” The topic is vast. So I decided to do a show ‘n tell on palmiers.

      One of my sisters, who does not live in the Midwest, went through a phase where all sandwiches were “rollups.” So you couldn’t have a turkey and Swiss on rye. No, the turkey and Swiss had to be placed on a soft tortilla and rolled. That was the only acceptable way to eat them. Bless her heart.

      • I can’t blame your sister for that. Unless it’s really good bread, I’d prefer most things in tortillas instead.

        Also, growing up my kid brain reference point for “seeing family” vs “wow nice party” was if there was a tray of those little pinwheels among the snacks.

  3. I’ve seen enough Great British Baking Shows to know that making your own puff pastry has maybe a one in four chance of really working, but I’m still tempted to try some day. It’s hard to think of any rational reason, though.

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