This recipe for Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Squares is from the Barefoot Contessa…. I saw it recently on her show and thought it was a terrific idea for a “substantial” appetizer/hors’dourve….
I only made two minor changes from her recipe. Her recipe calls for Dijon mustard… which I have used… and it was very good… but I like a coarse spicy brown mustard a little better….
Her recipe uses Gruyere cheese… on her show she uses quite a large piece and trims it.. then slices it…. Gruyere has become really expensive… a small wedge is about $16 in the supermarket… and I would need a piece 4 times that size…. so no way was I going to use Gruyere….. instead I substituted a shredded Artisan Blend of Swiss and Gruyere by Sargento… a much more economical alternative.
This is a perfect addition to a cocktail party… it makes for a lot of squares and is substantial enough for people drinking alcohol… best of all you can prepare this ahead ... say in the morning of the party... it assembles fairly quickly...store it in the fridge...and bake it an hour or so before the party… it’s delicious slightly warm or at room temperature…. AND it won’t break the bank.
Recipe: Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Squares
All you need:
1 box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
2 tablespoons coarse brown mustard (or Dijon if you prefer)
1 bag Sargento Artisan Blend Swiss and Gruyere shredded cheese
¼ pound thinly sliced Black Forest ham
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water for an egg wash
All you need to do:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Lightly flour a flat surface to roll out the pastry sheet.
Carefully unfold one thawed pastry sheet and place on the floured surface, then turn over to dust the other side with flour to prevent it from sticking.
Gently roll the pastry sheet into a 10 inch x 12 inch rectangle.
Place the pastry sheet in the center of the parchment paper.
Using a pastry brush… brush the pastry sheet with the mustard leaving a 1 inch border around the edge.
Layer the ham over the mustard, overlapping them slightly…. Be sure to leave the 1 inch border.
Layer the shredded cheese over the ham…. Be sure to leave the 1 inch border.
Using a pastry brush… brush the 1 inch border with egg wash.
Roll out the second pastry sheet into a 10 inch x 12 inch rectangle.
Place the second pastry sheet over the layered first sheet.
Gently press the edges together to seal the rectangle.
If the rectangles are slightly uneven, trim them to to even them up.
Using a fork gently press the fork along the edge to make an imprint with the tongs for a decorative look.
Brush the top with egg wash so the puff pastry will bake to a beautiful golden brown.
Using a sharp knife make three slits in the top to allow steam to escape during baking.
Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes … until puffed and golden brown.
Allow the pastry to cool before cutting.
Make sure you use a very sharp knife to cut the puff pastry… and use a sawing motion for best results.
Cut them into any size squares you like.... I cut a variety of sizes and I didn't photograph the complete yield.... The Barefoot Contessa's recipe says 6 servings... I figure 1-2 pieces per person....2 inch by 2 inch pieces.... it can serve as many as 10 or so.
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