Fig Bacon and Blue Cheese Palmiers
The family that blogs together, stays together. Such was the case when my cousin Lesley, who blogs over at Merlin’s Garden, sent me some of her homemade ‘Drunken Fig Jam’ (yes, there was some begging and pleading involved, so she really couldn’t say no). It was perfect timing, because I had been working on a recipe inspired by the people over at California Figs that I had met at my IFBC conference in July. They gave me some dried figs, which I had planned to whip up into a tapenade to make some savory palmiers. Then I got my hands on a jar of Lesley’s Drunken Fig Jam, and the dried figs got put on hold. The jam seemed like a perfect match for the recipe I had in mind; and it was! The Savory Fig and Blue Cheese Palmiers were a hit, and the figs from the conference are in the larder waiting for something else equally inspired. You will no doubt be hearing more about them in the future.
Figs are really at their peak this time of year, and like all things seasonal, I try to make the most of them while they are available. I love making fig tapenade almost as much as I enjoy stuffing them with cheese, wrapping them in prosciutto, and tossing them on the grill. I also like them on pizza (with brie), fig rugelach, and many other sweet baked goodies. My favorite fig combination is pairing them with blue cheese, bacon, and onion. To me, this is a perfect marriage, especially when they elope with a nice big red wine. I’ve prepared this tempting medley on baked flatbread before, but this was my first time using this combination for palmiers.
Palmiers are a French pastry that resembles the ‘palm’ from which they derive their name, and are usually a sweet desert. However, savory palmiers, although not traditional, are nothing new; they have been making the rounds on Pinterest and numerous blogs for some time. I became acquainted with them long ago, from my friend Porter who was making them before anyone else. He even featured them on the second season of his show, “Entertaining People”. They were always a hit and still are for good reason: they are easy to prepare, ideal for entertaining, and they are simply delicious. The possible combinations of ingredients are endless. But seriously, what wouldn’t be good buttered, wrapped, and baked to perfection in puff pastry?
This recipe uses one package of Pepperidge Farms puff pastry. I used my cousin Lesley’s Drunken Fig Jam, but you are going to have to find your own jam because I’m not giving any up! You could use a tapenade, but I thought the sweetness of the jam worked well. You will get about 20 palmiers out of each sheet, or you could easily cut the recipe in half and use just one sheet. If you are following my recipe or creating you own, try to avoid the temptation of overloading the pastry, or they won’t hold their shape. Naturally, they are best right after you bake them, but I kept some in the refrigerator in a Ziploc for 3-4 days that resulted in some exceptional midnight snacking.
- I package Pepperidge Farms frozen Puff Pastry
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 6 ounce Applewood Smoked bacon
- 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- ⅔-cup fig Jam
- Remove pastry from freezer and thaw. Cook the bacon in a small sauté pan until crisp. Drain, cool, and crumble into small bits, then set aside. Drain all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the pan and sauté the onions until browned, then set aside. When the dough is thawed, gently unfold each sheet of puff pastry onto a floured work surface. Gently roll out each sheet of dough until it is about 10” x 12”. Divide the filling ingredients in half and spread evenly on each sheet of pastry starting with the jam, the onions, the cheese, and finally the bacon. Starting at a narrow edge, begin to roll the pastry as tightly as possible, until you get to the middle. Repeat on the other edge until it meets the other side. Carefully wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°. Take the dough from the refrigerator and place on a cutting board. Unwrap the dough, and cut into ¼-inch slices using a sharp knife. Place on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches on each side. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool for about 10 minutes before using a spatula to remove them, and place on a rack to finish cooling. Serve immediately or store covered in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
For more great information on figs, including lots of recipes, check out California Figs here.