Yes, it’s true. I want to share with you one of the wonderful things you can do with Puff Pastry.
Today, I’m sharing with you my recipe for Palmiers with Blue Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Fig Preserves. It’s an immensely decadent nibble that is so easy to put together, I guarantee you’ll come up with 20 variations once you’ve tried this one, in the time it’ll take me to write this post!
Palmiers is French for “palm leaves,” but they are also known as elephant ears, palm trees or schnecken (German for “snails”) because of the shape they take on when rolled and sliced.
It all begins with Puff Pastry. And, while I did a stint as a professional pastry baker where I made “puff” from scratch regularly. I do NOT expect you to feel intimidated that you have to do that for this app. I promised you EASY, and I will deliver.
There are several varieties of Puff Pastry that are readily available. I was most familiar with frozen until recently when I discovered that there is a company making rolled fresh puff. I like it quite a bit better because you don’t have to thaw, and you don’t have the creases to deal with in a product that is folded over. But, regardless of what you use, you’re going to need to roll it thin so you can overcome any crease/folds you may encounter.
Ok, we have the puff covered. Now, what do we fill this luscious dough with? Well, how about a terrific sweet-savory combo of blue cheese, fig preserves (a natural match) and…oh, yes…caramelized onions! Are you drooling yet?
People LOVE caramelized onions, but many folks are intimidated by making them. Why? It’s so easy and I will give you a bonus recipe below our main one if you don’t know how to prepare them.
So, first step is to roll out the pastry. You’ll want it to be thin — a 1/4″ — because when you fill it and roll it, you don’t want a big whack of dough — flaky though it may be, — you want dough and flavor.
My first ingredient is a fig preserve. I had recently purchased a jar of something that sounded hugely intriguing:: a fig and chili preserve from Divina Foods! I thought this might be an awesome product to try in my Palmiers because, not only did it have the sweet fig flavor, it had an extra pop from the chili! Not too hot, but unexpected.
We’ll spread the fig preserves over the rolled dough, making sure we leave a 1/4″ border around all sides so we can seal it properly when we roll it up.
Now, we are going to add our onions. The cool thing about caramelized onions is you can make them ahead and have them cooled and ready to add to whatever your taste buds desire (grilled cheese sandwich anyone!). My recipe below talks about storing them in the fridge, but they also can be stored in portions in the freezer. Just thaw and go!
After the onions comes the cheese! Oooh, glorious salty, moldy-tart blue cheese. Feel free to use the variety of blue you like best. In this recipe I used “Oregonzola” from Rogue Creamery. It’s creamy but not too runny and the flavor profile went SO well with the other ingredients. But, other creamy Gorgonzolas will treat you well on this mission!
We’re ready to roll! The key is to roll from the long sides of the dough into the middle so you get that “snail” shape you want. It’s not hard. You just have to remember to roll INTO the center. Both sides should meet in the middle. While you don’t want your filling to squish out, you also don’t want the roll to be so loose that, when baked, it has holes between the filling and the dough, so a little pressure during rolling is good.
Once you have your dough rolled, give it a brief chill in the fridge — the dough certainly warmed during it’s handling and you want the butter in the dough to melt and expand during baking, not while you are working with it. You need a minimum of 30 minutes, and then you are ready to cut your Palmier bites.
You’ll want to cut them in 1/2″ segment across the length of your roll. Place the individual pieces on a parchment or silicone-lined sheet pan and place them in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and the cheese is melted. I always rotate the pan 1/2 way through the baking process to account for the differences in how the oven heats/bakes.
And, there you have it. A wonderful light and crisp crunch, with a sweet-salty filling that’s sure to please. What do you think? Will you make this and the 20 variations I promised would come to mind at the beginning of my post? Let me know what you think about this recipe and any new versions you come up with!
Blue Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Fig Palmiers
- 1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed, if frozen)
- 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup fig preserves
- 1 cup caramelized onions see recipe, below
- Preheat the oven to 400°
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry until it's 1/4" thick.
- Spread the fig preserves evenly over the puff pastry, but leaving 1/4" border on all sides of the dough.
- Spread the caramelized onions on top of the fig preserves, again making sure the clean border is preserved.
- Now sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese evenly over the onion layer.
- Working on one long side of the dough, roll it up carefully and somewhat tightly to the center of the dough. Repeat that with the other long side, making sure the two rolls meet in the center.
- Cover the rolled dough to prevent drying out and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice into 1/2" slices across the rolls and place on a baking sheet, 1" apart, prepared with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Bake slices for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the puff pastry is a deep golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.
- 5 lg onions (either red or white or both)
- t tsp olive oil or butter (or a mix of both)
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut onions in half, peel and cut again into quarters, leaving the root end on while cutting
- Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice onions to your desired thickness.
- Heat olive oil and butter, if using, in a heavy-bottomed skillet, over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the sliced onion. Stir to coat onion slices with the oil mixture.
- Cook onions in the pan, stirring occasionally, making sure they do not dry out. After about 15 minutes, you can sprinkle the onion mixture with the sugar and stir to incorporate.
- If it looks like onions are getting too dry or are browning too quickly, reduce the heat and add a little water.
- Continue to cook onions for at least 30 minutes more, stirring every few minutes, until they are beginning to brown on the bottom. Once they begin to brown, allow them to stick a little bit to the pan. Then, using a spatula, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and stir the onions again.
- Repeat this scraping and stirring process every few minutes until the onions have become a deep, rich brown color. Again, you may need to reduce your heat to keep from scorching them. You may also add a little more oil if it looks like they are getting too dry.
- Once your onions have reached the color you desire, season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. You can remove them from the heat and use immediately, or store them, refrigerated in an airtight container. They will keep for several days.