Ham and Cheese in Puff Pastry

Ever since I discovered puff pastry, I have loved its ease and versatility. I use it for cinnamon rolls instead of a heavier yeast dough, and for making a savory dinner dish like this one. I use mix mustard and fig jam together for a sweet/tangy accompaniment to the ham and cheese, and it cuts the richness of the puff pastry.

The hardest part is planning ahead and taking the puff pastry out of the freezer the night before I make it; I prefer to thaw it in the refrigerator, but have done it on the counter in a pinch.

My husband likes this also, and I mix it up sometimes by using only one sheet and baking it open-faced. While puff pastry isn’t in any sense a “diet” food, using one sheet instead of two cuts the calories.

Ham and Cheese in Puff Pastry

1 package puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed

6 slices ham

4 slices cheese (I use Swiss, but use what you like)

2 T mustard (I’ve used Dijon, a grainy mustard, or a mix of the two)

2 T fig jam

1 egg, beaten

1 T water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on a flour-lined board. Roll it out to a smooth rectangle. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.

Mix the mustard and fig jam together; spread over the puff pastry, leaving a 1/2″ wide border all around. Place the ham evenly over the mustard/fig spread. Lay the cheese over the ham.

Roll out the second sheet, if using it. Moisten the 1/2″ border with water, and carefully place the puff pastry top over the layered ham and cheese. Use a fork to seal the edges. With a small sharp knife, cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Make an egg wash with the water and beaten egg, and brush over the top of the puff pastry.

Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is puffed and golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. This makes a tasty dinner or delicious appetizers if cut into smaller portions.

I’ll be at Malice Domestic April 27-30, in Bethesda, MD. Hope to see you there!

Glazed Orange-Vanilla Scones

I served a Cream Tea at my book signing two weeks ago. In my last post on March 21, I shared the recipes for Lemon Curd, Vanilla Sugar, and Clotted Cream.

Today I’m sharing the recipe for Glazed Orange-Vanilla Scones, which I served with Lemon Curd and Clotted Cream (I used the Vanilla Sugar in two recipes). I’ll be making scones again, now that I know how easy they are.

Glazed Orange-Vanilla Scones

Makes 12 scones or 36-48 smaller scones

2 1/4 C all-purpose flour

1 T baking powder

1 t Kosher salt (if using table salt, decrease by half to 1/2 t)

6 T vanilla sugar

2 T orange zest

6 T butter (cubed, then frozen)

3/4 C heavy cream

2 t vanilla extract

Glaze:

1 T heavy cream

1 T vanilla sugar

1 t orange zest

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine vanilla sugar and orange zest. Mix vanilla sugar/orange zest into flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into dry ingredients until small and evenly sized (similar to pea). Add cream and vanilla extract, folding to incorporate. Knead in bowl to bring everything together, adding cream as needed if it’s too dry.

Divide dough in half, shape into a round disc about 3/4″ thick, and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine Glaze ingredients together, and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut each disc into 6 pizza-shaped pieces. Place at least 1″ apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with glaze. I cut mine into smaller triangles and ended up with 36 scones.

Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Serve at room temperature.

I’ll be at Malice Domestic at the end of April. Stop by and say Hi!