PALMIERS

Palmiers 

(cream crisps, pigs ears, Elephant ear)

Made from puff pastry this a great favourite in many countries. It is usually served in its sweetened form but can be made as a savoury product if required.

It can be made with with 3/4 puff, or with puff containing scrap/trimmings but for the best end product, virgin full puff is the best to use but needs a lot of care and is more suited to the experienced baker.

To produce 12 bases (6 pairs) you will require 290g ( 10 1/2oz) of puff pastry.

(1) Using a rolling pin, roll out to form a rectangle 15cm (6in) x 45cm (18in). This should give a thickness of of approx 3mm (1/8 in)

(2) With the 15cm edge at the top,  carefully fold in half and then unfold again , this should give you a guide line across the middle.

(3) Water wash the whole surface and sprinkle to cover the whole surface with castor sugar.

(4) From the top and bottom edge you now need to fold in 1/3rd, water wash, sprinkle more sugar and fold again, wash, sprinkle and fold again. The aim is to fold each half into three  and then fold in half completely, see diagrams below. ( we have used paper to demonstrate the folding sequence ,hopefully to make it clear !)

Have prepared a baking parchment lined or lightly greased baking tray.

Cut the strip into slices 1cm (1/4 in) thick and place onto the baking sheet so that the folds are visible, space at least 8cm (3in) apart to allow for side ways expansion they can however be placed almost touching top and bottom.Turn the open end out slightly taking care not to open the whole unit. (see below). 

Allow to rest in a cool place or refrigerator for at least 35 minutes. This is very important, it will allow the gluten in the pastry to relax so as to ensure that there is a minimum of shrinkage during baking and that any shrinkage will be even over the whole product.

Bake at 215C, fan 190C, 420F, Gas 6.

After 12-15 minutes they should be a light golden colour. Carefully remove from the oven and with a palette knife  (a fish slice will do if you do not have one ) turn the palmiers over and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Because of the high sugar content these products can burn (caramelise) very quickly.

Palmiers

Warning.The sugar will be very hot, not only does it burn, it sticks to you at the same time, please take care !

On removal from the oven allow to stand for at least 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling wire.

There are many ways that this product can be used. By making a smaller version they can be served  as a Petits four to be eaten as an a-complement to coffee. By using grated cheese ,such as Parmesan ,instead of sugar, a savoury  snack can be made.

The most common finish is usually to sandwich a pair of the bases together  with whipped Dairy cream and jam/conserve. Fruits in season can also be added.

Carefully whip 284ml (10oz) of either whipping or double cream taking care not to over whip (this will produce butter). spread an appropriate jam/conserve on half of the bases.

Using a piping bag ,fitted with a 1/2in star tube, pipe a bulb /swirl of the whipped cream onto the jam covered bases.

If fruit is to used carefully add on top of the piped cream, do not be tempted to added too much.

Place another base carefully on top and to finish, lightly dust with icing sugar.