Last week I promised to show you what you could do with the scraps of all that puff pastry you’ve been making (!). So here is my suggestion – palmiers.
Basically, a palmier is a sugared puff pastry ‘biscuit’ which is designed to resemble the fronds of a palm. They are delicious served with tea or coffee. I noticed the other day that a high street coffee chain were selling them for 80p a pop! This is ludicrous when you think there are only three ingredients in them – flour, butter and sugar. And they are pretty easy to make as well.
When I say ‘scraps’ of pastry you will need a reasonable amount which you will have left if you’ve made the individual Napoleons. For the ultimate cheat you could use the ready rolled puff pastry. I haven’t provided quantities for the sugar and cinnamon because it will depend on how much pastry you have. Just make sure you have plenty to hand.
Once again the method described is taken from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts.
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- Puff pastry (I would say you need at least 200g to make this worth while making)
- Granulated sugar
- Ground Cinnamon
- Spread your work surface with sugar and perhaps a little flour (and I do mean a little) if you are worried that your pastry will stick. The sugar will work its way into the pastry and will leave enough on the surface to caramelise when it is in the oven.
- Sprinkle the pastry with more sugar and roll it out into a rectangle which is roughly 3mm thick. The long side should be directly in front of you. Ideally the sides should be straight. Trim them to achieve this if needs be.
- Now for the fiddliest part of the process. The idea is to brush your pastry rectangle with water then sprinkle liberally with even more sugar and some ground cinnamon. Then you take the bottom 2-3cm or so and fold it up towards the middle. Do the same with the top edge of the rectangle. You continue folding both edges until they meet in the middle. WARNING: before you apply the water etc do a test run to see if you can get the top and bottom edges to meet in the middle and both be even. You may need to trim you pastry to ensure this happens. When you are satisfied that it is the correct size proceed with the sugar and cinnamon as described above.
- You should end up with something that looks a little like a flattened swiss roll. Gently press down on the roll with a rolling pin. Place on a tray and cover with film. Refrigerate for at least one hour. The recipe I used recommends the palmier roll is refrigerated for at least eight hours and up to three days. I did leave mine for three days and the dough had exuded a sticky syrup although this did not appear to have a detrimental effect on the final biscuits.
- When you are ready to cook the biscuits pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Slice 1cm sections off the roll of pastry and place on a baking sheet lined with greasproof paper or a silicone liner. Allow plenty of space between each one as they will expand while cooking.
- Bake for 10 minutes then take the biscuits out of the oven and flip them over. Continue to cook for a further 5-10 minutes. You want them caramelised but not burnt! Transfer to a wire rack to cool. I have to confess some of mine unravelled but they were still delicious even if less than perfect in appearance. They should keep for a few days in an air tight container.