Photo by Michael Piazza
Savory and umami-rich, these palmiers are a hit at my holiday gatherings. A blend of interesting local mushrooms give the most flavor, but just plain white buttons will do in a pinch. Just be sure to really cook the liquid out of the minced mushrooms before seasoning with salt to achieve a nice, dry filling. Avoid Portobello mushrooms; their black gills will make sludgy pastries. And if you have anything truffle-y lying around (paste, sauce, salt—just not faux truffle oil, please!), here’s the recipe to use it in for an extra special treat.
Makes 20–22 palmiers
1 pound local mushrooms (or a mix of local and cremini)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 sheet thawed all-butter puff pastry, either homemade or store-bought
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until finely minced. Sauté shallot in butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms release their liquid and reabsorb it. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in crème fraîche and set aside to cool; chill in the fridge until very cold. Roll out a puff pastry sheet to a 10- by 12-inch rectangle, then spread the chilled filling all over. Fold the bottom edge up to the middle and the top edge down to meet it, then fold top over bottom again to make a rectangle. Slice crosswise into ½-inch slices. Arrange the palmiers cut side up on parchment-lined baking sheets, brush with egg wash and bake 15–20 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Alternatively, freeze unbaked palmiers until solid, then store in zip-top bags until ready to bake (they take 20–25 minutes from frozen).
This recipe appeared in the Winter 2019 issue as part of a larger story on pantry staple hors d’oeuvres.