A Colorful Explosion of Elephant Ears
Despite the snow flurries this week in Zürich, all I can think about are palm trees. Well, palmiers actually. I had first made these swirled “elephant ear” pastries for Chanukah, the Jewish holiday that began last Friday evening, December 11th and comes to a close this Friday evening, December 18th. As a nod to the holiday, I broke out my blue sugar crystals and made them blue. Realizing just how easy and fun they were to make, I then decided it was time to play.
Blue palmiers for Chanukah… red palmiers for Christmas. But of course. I used red sugar crystals and watched these little red cookies puff up in the oven. They finished pink after baking though, so it might help to use red food coloring next time. I also made more classic palmiers with white sugar and let them get real golden in the oven, for that extra crunchy, caramelized finish I love. Blue, red, white… I was thinking of all the holidays and corresponding colors. But then I realized, I don’t need to use sugar at all. Without making savory palmiers, which is entirely possible of course, I went back into my cupboard and started to play some more.
Zoom in on my large collection of jams that simply gets larger as I continue to travel. Why not jam, I thought. And so, I made palmiers with a raspberry-peach jam (recipe below), which came out fantastic. Instead of my mini palmiers, I also decided to go a bit bigger. I used two sheets of puff pastry, one on top of the other, with a layer of jam sandwiched between the two. And instead of folding, I rolled the two far sides of the pastry in to meet each other. This is the method I’ll be sticking with from now on. You get these fantastic round spirals, showing you why they are after all referred to as elephant ears.
While reading this blog throughout the past year, you may have noticed Olivier’s absolute love for Nutella. He shmears his crêpes with Nutella, and tops his Kouign Amann with it too. My Polka Dot Jam Tart later became a Polka Dot Nutella Tart, and my Hamantaschen were inevitably filled with the creamy, hazelnut spread as well. I think you all know what’s going to be swirled into the next batch of palmiers…! What about you, what would you choose?
2 squares of puff pastry
Make sure you have two squares of puff pastry the same size. Spread your jam of choice on one of the pastry sheets, smoothing it out to all corners. Lay the second pastry sheet on top of this. Press down lightly. Roll in the left and right sides towards each other, so that they meet in the center.
Mix the egg yolk with 1 Tablespoon of water. Use this egg wash to “glue” the two rolls together. Wrap in plastic and put in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210 degrees Celsius). Remove the pastry from the freezer when firm, and cut into thin slices. If the pastry cracks when you cut, it is too cold. Simply wait a few minutes and start again. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and flip palmiers over. Bake for another 2 more minutes.
* If the round centers start to rise real high, no worries. You can simply push them back down with a spatula. Or when you flip them over, just press down lightly.
* Click here to see the previous post on palmiers with more photos and a recipe.