Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ham and Cheese Feuilleté

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart's Entertaining cookbook.  I haven't made it for years, but it is a yummy and delicious appetizer. The big change that makes this recipe easy is using frozen puff pastry.  Martha may have time to make puff pastry, but I don't know anyone else who does. If you haven't worked with puff pastry before, make sure you keep it cold.  The warmer it is, the harder it is to work with. If you start having problems, stick it back in the fridge for a few minutes.

1 box Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, defrosted according to pkg directions
1/8 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 lb thinly sliced, flavorful boiled ham
1/4 lb thinly sliced Gruyere cheese

2 eggs mixed with 2 tsps heavy cream or water for glaze

On a floured board, roll a piece of puff pastry into a rectangle approximate 12 inches by 16 inches. Place
it on a 12 x 16 baking sheet.  Spread it with the mustard, leaving a 1 inch board all around.  Layer the ham and cheese on top of the mustard.  Fold the borders up over the filling and brush with cold water, so that the pastry top will adhere. 

Roll the other piece of puff pastry out to the same size as the bottom (approximately 10 x 14) and place directly on top. Trim the edges if needed and, using a fork dipped in flour, press down around the edges to seal. 

You can use any scraps to make decorative leaves, flowers, whatever strikes your fancy.  Adhere them to the top with water.  Chill for at least 1/2 hour.  Well wrapped, this can stay in the fridge for 2 days.

Preheat oven to 450.  Brush egg glaze over top. Make 2 or 3 vent holes and put in a hot oven.  Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into squares.  This is best served immediately.

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