Classic palmiers

Classic palmiers

Palmiers

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12-15
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Palmiers are not Portuguese in origin – they’re French, and the word literally means ‘palm tree’ – but we love them. In Lisbon the pastelarias sell several variations: cobertos, which are covered with a sugary glaze; miniaturas, which are small in size; or my favourite, recheados, in which two pieces are sandwiched together with several different fillings. I have given the simple, classic version here, but you could also try sandwiching them with the sweet potato custard opposite, or the filling for the jesuitas.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g caster sugar
2 strips lemon, zested
2 strips orange, zested
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
3 x 320g sheets all-butter puff pastry
granulated sugar, for sprinkling
ground cinnamon, for sprinkling (optional)

Method

  1. Start by making a sugar syrup: put the sugar, citrus zest, cinnamon stick and vanilla pod in a pan with 200ml water. Cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then boil for 2 minutes.
  2. Make sure the pastry is in three large rectangles about 3mm thick, rolling them out a little if necessary. Sprinkle a clean surface generously with granulated sugar, place a sheet of pastry on top and sprinkle it evenly with sugar. Roll lightly with a rolling pin to seal the layers. Place the next sheet on top and sprinkle with more sugar. Repeat with the third sheet. Roll out the three sheets lightly into a layered rectangle.
  3. With a short end nearest you, fold the top third of the pastry down towards you and fold the bottom third up away from you to cover the top third, a bit like folding a letter in three. Roll the pastry out again to roughly the same size as the original sheet. Starting from one of the long edges, roll the pastry up tightly to the centre, stopping halfway. Roll up the other side to meet it, then wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill it for 1 hour.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry roll widthways into slices about 3cm thick. Line them up on the prepared baking tray and chill for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  5. Bake on the top shelf for 12–15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking so they colour evenly. As soon as they come out of the oven, brush them with the sugar syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon, if you like. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
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