Roberta Muir – cookbook author, food writer and manager of Sydney Seafood School – has a passion for good cooking, eating and drinking, and exciting travel in search of all three.
These little French pastries are easy, versatile and delicious. The secret is to use good butter puff pastry, not one made with margarine or other commercial fats; Carême brand is available in many delis and specialty stores and it’s handy to keep a roll or two in the freezer. Palmiers are great with any fruit, cream or ice cream, use them to dress up a dessert or just dust them with icing sugar to have with coffee or tea. I serve them for dessert sandwiched with sliced strawberries and crème frâiche (Pepe Saya of course), and love an Alsatian eau-de-vie with them, such as the framboise sauvage (wild raspberry) or kirsch (cherry) from Distillerie Bertrand - it's a pretty perfect finish to a meal. Store any leftover pastries, without icing sugar, in an airtight container for up to a week.
• Castor sugar, for sprinkling
• 375g butter puff pastry, rolled about 4mm thick
• Crème frâiche, for serving
• Sliced strawberries, for serving
• Icing sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
2. Lightly sprinkle castor sugar on a clean, dry bench and place pastry sheet on top.
3. Sprinkle generously with castor sugar.
4. Fold the long sides of the pastry in so that they meet in the middle. Press gently and sprinkle generously with castor sugar.
5. Fold in half again to give a long strip of four layers of pastry. Press gently and sprinkle generously with castor sugar, flip over and sprinkle the other side generously with castor sugar.
6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7. Using a sharp knife, trim off the ends then cut into 1cm thick pieces and place on a baking paper-lined baking tray, spreading them open slightly to form a “V” and leaving space between them to expand.
8. Bake for 8 minutes, remove from oven, turn them over and sprinkle with castor sugar.
9. Bake for a further 8-12 minutes, until crisp and golden. Depending on your oven, some may brown quicker than others; if this happens, remove them as they brown and cook the remaining ones for a minute or 2 longer.
10. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
11. Place a palmier on each serving plate, top with a little crème frâiche, add strawberry slices and more crème frâiche then another palmier.12. Dust with icing sugar, add a small piece of strawberry and serve.
Recipe by Roberta Muir - visit her website for more great recipes or to subscribe to her weekly newsletter featuring recipes and Top 5 food, wine and travel lists.