Store-bought puff pastry is a great thing to have in your freezer for easy, last-minute party snacks like this savory version of palmiers, a classic French pastry. Just brush tomato paste over the thawed pastry, layer on some salty prosciutto, sprinkle with nutty Gruyère cheese, and bake until flaky and golden brown.
What to buy: Be sure to look for an all-butter puff pastry (the flavor is superior); avoid brands made with partially hydrogenated shortening. We like Dufour, which can be found in the freezer section of many specialty grocery stores, including Whole Foods.
Special equipment:You’ll need a pastry brush for this recipe.
1 tablespoontomato paste
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 (14- to 16-ounce package) frozen puff pastry, thawed according to the package directions
3 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1Combine the tomato paste and water in a small bowl; set aside.
2Generously dust a work surface with flour. Place the thawed pastry on the prepared work surface, dust the pastry lightly with flour, and, using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim it into a 10-by-13-inch rectangle.
3Using a pastry brush, coat the surface of the pastry evenly with the tomato-water mixture, using all of it. Arrange the prosciutto slices in a single layer over the tomato paste, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the prosciutto.
4Fold each of the long sides of the pastry in toward the center until they meet. Fold again along the center seam, as if closing a book. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes
5Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange the racks to divide the oven into thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
6When the pastry roll is ready, remove it from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Using a serrated knife, trim about 1/2 inch off each end. Cut the roll crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. You should have about 12 palmiers on each sheet.
7Bake until the palmiers are lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and flip the palmiers over with a flat spatula. Return to the oven and bake until deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove the palmiers to a wire rack to cool completely. If not serving right away, store at room temperature in a container with a tightfitting lid for up to 6 hours.