When my mother and I are back in Paris, her hometown, we have an afternoon tradition. We waltz into Laduree, and after munching through a slight rainbow of macarons, we purchase a palmier—a large “elephant ear” of sugared butter pastry. After breaking it in half and bickering over who got the biggest side, we sit down by the Seine and eat under the afternoon Parisian clouds and throw crumbs to the sparrows.
When I am home in New York and Laduree and the sparrows and the Seine seem all too far away, I cheat, and make an easy palmier at home from two ingredients I am never without: frozen puff pastry and granulated sugar. This recipe is so easy, you don’t even need to measure the ingredients.
This strategy can be used for all different sorts of sweet and savory palmiers. I like to stuff mine with tapenade, gruyere and herbs de Provence, or a painter’s palette of jams. Just omit the sugar and follow the same steps. I like to dip these halfway in dark chocolate and serve with coffee, or serve a stack of them plain out of the oven with afternoon tea.
For fresh French recipes, like Palmier "Jam"boree: www.FrenchRevolutionFood.com!
I hope this takes you back to Paris. Bon app!
- 1In each box of puff pastry, there are two sheets. You can use one or both, depending on how many palmiers you want to make.
- 2Create a little sugaring station in front of you. I start with a bowlful of sugar, and a piece of parchment on which I put one piece of puff pastry. Then, simply lightly dust both sides of the pastry with sugar, creating a thin, even layer of sugar on each side.
- 3Next, begin the process of folding and sugaring. With both sides of the sheet sugared, lay the pastry out horizontally in front of you. Then fold the left and right sides of the pastry so they almost meet in the middle. Then sugar the layer in front of you. Then fold in the left and right sides again. Then sugar this layer, again lightly but completely. Then fold in the sides again. Then sugar this layer, and finally fold both sides of the pastry together; you will have a log of heart-folded sugared puff pastry.
- 4Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- 5Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- 6Using a serrated knife, cut the chilled palmier log into 1/4 inch palmiers. Lay the palmiers flat on lined baking sheets—lined or cleanup will be impossible. Sprinkle the tops with any leftover sugar on your parchment. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the two trays in the oven halfway through. Let cool just a bit before eating the whole batch!
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