Ham and Cheese Pastry
Updated: Jun 3, 2021
This is a recipe I go back to over and over. I initially found it on Pinterest and adapted it slightly.
It could be made with completely different ingredients...cheese and tomato...roasted mushrooms and cheese...Marmalade and cream cheese... You get the idea.
I love frozen puff pastry - so easy to use and VERY convenient as you can buy it frozen at the grocery store and keep it on hand. I recently tried making my own puff pastry. It took a while and the butter kept melting out. I was in and out of the refrigerator over and over to keep it chilled. In the end it was worth it - but not necessary.
This recipe can be made into turnovers as in the original recipe from Pinterest account Handmade Charlotte or it can be made into a single pastry to be cut into portions. I find it quicker to make one large pastry than the 4 single turnovers. I can't really say that one is better than the other and alternate between the options depending on the occasion and number of servings needed.
Below was birthday brunch with turnover style pastries. This recipe is one of my husband's favorites.
Ham and Cheese Pastry
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator if frozen
1 tsp grainy mustard (I use Maille)
1 tsp honey
2 Tbsp butter, melted
8 to 10 thin slices ham, sliced into thin strips
4 oz shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 egg, beaten
Once the puff pastry is thawed, unfold and roll out on a lightly floured surface. It should be about an inch larger than when you began. If it gets too sticky - put it back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to let it chill.
Choose a style!
Turnover Style: Cut the pastry into 4 squares and place on parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
Single Pastry: Place pastry on parchment or silpat lined sheet. Keeping the pastry on the baking sheet will keep you from having to move it when it is more fragile later.
Start with the sliced ham, pulling it apart into single strands and distributing for either pastry style. I like to layer it and fold some of the pieces to give it more texture-rather than laying it flat.
Turnover Style: Imagine that you will be folding that square in half to create a triangle and place the ham pieces in the area shaped like a triangle, leaving about 1/2" around the edges to close the turnover at the end.
Single Pastry: Imagine the single piece of pastry in thirds. The middle third is where all the goodies will go. Place the ham down the center third of the pastry. The outer thirds will be wrapped around the center later.
Top the ham in both styles with shredded cheese. Gruyere is worth shredding yourself - you'll almost never find it shredded in the stores. Again, for time's sake, use Swiss or some other pre-shredded cheese if needed.
Mix together the melted, cooled butter, mustard and honey. The original recipe calls for garlic as well - add 1/2 tsp minced garlic to the mixture if you want to try it! Drizzle this mixture over the shredded cheese reserving a small amount, maybe 1/2 tsp or so.
Closing the pastries
Turnover Style: Use the beaten egg to lightly brush the edges of the pastries. Fold the side with no filling over the ham and cheese, sealing the edges together. Use a fork to press the edges together.
Single Pastry: Slice the exposed puff pastry at an angle on each side of the ham and cheese section in 1/2 inch increments. Bring the strips of puff pastry across the center to overlap each other alternating sides as you go. Check this Google search for more visuals/instructions.
Turnover Style ONLY: Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits into the top of the pastry. This will help them release steam during baking so that they don't explode.
Add the beaten egg and mustard mixture together and use a pastry or silicon brush to lightly brush over the top of the pastry (either style).
Bake for 20 minutes or until desired color. I bake them a little longer because I like the pastry really browned and crispy.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
As mentioned in the intro-this is super adaptable. I would not add ingredients that create a lot of extra moisture to keep the pastry from becoming gummy. For using tomatoes (because they have a lot of moisture) I used cherry tomatoes, halved-only a few(maybe 6, halved to 12 pieces total). I put them cut side up on top of the cheese and made the single pastry style leaving a lot of open area between the pastry strips where the tomatoes were. This way some of the moisture from those tomatoes could evaporate as the pastry baked.