Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry

This delicious Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry simply must make your post-holiday menu.  It is a great way to use up leftover ham and it tastes like a gourmet treat!  This breakfast, lunch or dinner treat is a delicious buttery and flaky puff pastry enveloping a mixture of hot ham, melty swiss cheese, and fresh spinach.  If you are looking for a simple and amazing recipe for your next Holiday Honey Baked Ham, look no further!Ham and Cheese Puff PastryAround the holiday’s I start thinking about the guest list and how many mouths I am going to need to feed.  I do the basic calculations and then embarrassingly look to Google for “how much ham does one person eat?”.  The answer is between 1/2 and 3/4 pounds per person, in case you were wondering.  From there, I try doing the math and then eventually err on the side of caution and get the biggest one I can find, and then, consequently still worry about whether I got enough.  Please tell me I am not alone in this planning nightmare!  My point of this story is that most of the time I do in fact have enough, and end up with copious amounts of leftover ham.What to do?  Enter Ham and Cheese Puff Pastries!  These little guys are super buttery and flakey on the outside and filled with delicious ham and a creamy mixture of melt in your mouth swiss cheese and fresh chopped spinach.   Turning your left-over ham problem into a gourmet solution.Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry RecipeTo make this ham and cheese puff pastry, you will likely need a few ingredients that probably don’t have a permanent spot in your refrigerator.  So, some planning ahead is required but certainly not difficult.  For some reason, when I made this recipe, I did happen to have most items on hand.  So, it is not entirely out of the question.  For some reason, spinach usually ends up in the compost pile here.  By the time I get around to cooking it all, it has turned.  However, that was not the case in this scenario!  Lucky us!  So, to prep, here is what you will need from the store:Puff Pastry SheetsButterFlourMilkSalt and PepperHamSpinachSwiss CheeseEggsHow to Make a Ham and Cheese Puff PastryThis recipe is relatively straight forward, however, there are a few key steps along the wayPrepare the PastryMost of the puff pastries that you purchase at the store come frozen.  Your first step will be to make sure that the puff pastry is not frozen, but still cold enough to handle without breaking or ripping apart.  Conversely, unfolding it while it’s still frozen could tear the sheet as well.  You are looking for a happy medium.  If you accidentally leave it out too long, you can just put it back in the refrigerator to chill it a bit.  If you do manage to get a small tear or crack, just rub with a little water and press to seal the dough together.  Once it is rolled out it should be in a normal 10-inch square.   Place it on a lightly floured surface and then, using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into four separate pieces (each 5 inches x 5 inches). Always cut straight down, not at an angle, and try as hard as you can not to drag the knife.  You can stack these up on a plate and put them in the refrigerator while you work on the next step.  Throw a piece of parchment between the layers to prevent sticking if you want.Prepare the Ham and Cheese MixtureStart by creating your roux.  This will be the thickening agent in this recipe.  Melt the butter completely and then add in the flour and salt.  Whisk to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes (be careful not to burn).  Pour in the warm milk in 2 batches, whisking constantly until smooth and boiling. Reduce the heat down to low and then simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce starts to thicken.  Add in the spinach, stir it up until it starts to wilt.  Add in the cheese and ham.  Mix everything well until the cheese is fully melted and then set this aside.Assemble Puff PastryGo grab your pre-cut puff pastries from the fridge and place them on a parchment-lined baking dish.  Add a healthy dollop of the Ham and Cheese mixture directly in the center of the puff.  I like to add some freshly grated swiss right on the top.  Next, fold the sides into the center of the puff pastry, completely covering the ham and cheese mixture, creating a smaller version of the original square.  Using your beaten egg and a pastry brush, brush on the egg wash on the outside of the pastry.  This is what gives it that beautiful golden and crispy crust.  If you don’t have a pastry brush, you can use the tip of a rolled-up paper towel or your fingertip to apply the egg wash.  Bake this for 20 minutes or until it is golden brown.  These are best served warm, but they should for sure be eaten within a few hours of baking.   If you want to prepare these ahead of time, you can keep a filled and prepared pastry in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap until you’re ready to bake and serve for up to 24 hours.  Just note that this may affect your baking time.Looking for More Ham Recipes?Ham and Cheese Breakfast CasseroleBreadbowl Ham ChowderScalloped Potatoes with Ham and CheeseCrockpot Honey HamThis delicious Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry simply must make your post-holiday menu.  It is a great way to use up leftover ham and it tastes like a gourmet treat!  This breakfast, lunch or dinner treat is a delicious buttery and flaky puff pastry enveloping a mixture of hot ham, melty swiss cheese, and fresh spinach.  If you are looking for a simple and amazing recipe for your next Holiday Honey Baked Ham, look no further! Course: Appetizer Cuisine: American Keyword: Ham and Cheese Puffs, Spinach Puffs Servings: 8 Author: Amanda Rettke 2 (10 inch) puff pastry sheets 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup whole milk, room temperature 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 cups cooked ham, diced 2 cups fresh spinach 1 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated and divided 1 egg white, lightly beatenPre-heat your oven to 400°F.Cut the puff pastry sheets into 5-inch (13cm) squares. Set aside in the refrigerator.Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add flour and salt; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.Pour in the warm milk in 2 batches, whisking constantly until smooth and boiling.Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce starts to thicken.Add in spinach and cook for 1 minute, just until wilted.Add ham and 1 cup of Swiss cheese and stir well. Set aside.Arrange the puff pastry squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet.Top with a heaping spoonful of ham and cheese mixture, and sprinkle with grated cheese.Fold the corners onto the top, forming a smaller square.Brush the pastry with the egg wash, making sure to coat all sides.Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden. meet Amanda RettkeAmanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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