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On my way home from Prague I was at Ruzyne airport when I saw some Palmiers for sale. They were very large and looked scrumptious.  So I bought one and just loved it. Crispy, crunchy and nice and sweet too.

So I decided I would try to make some.  They are also known as Elephants’s Ears and other such names. Made with puff pastry and sugar, though you can make savoury ones as well, or add cinnamon as a variant. You can use shop bought puff pastry, but if you do it is best to use  an ‘all butter’ one.  I made my own, using the same recipe as I have used for mille feuille in the past.

That is the time consuming element of the recipe, since everything else is quite straightforward.

But I must say I am very pleased with the results of my attempts, they are very crunchy and taste delicious.

  • 500g plain flour
  • 200g butter at room temperature
  • 225ml water
  • 10g salt
  • 200g butter, straight from the fridge.
  • 150g caster sugar
First you must make the puff pastry( or you can move to step 26 if you are using shop bought pastry)
  1. Sift the flour and salt onto a work surface.
  2. Make a well in the middle and add the water and softened butter.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together, pulling in the flour gradually.
  4. Use a pastry scraper to cut in the flour until a rough dough is formed. and all the flour is incorporated.
  5. Make the dough into a ball and cut a deep cross into it.
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  7. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it warm up for a few minutes, to make it easier to roll.
  8. Place the 100g of cold butter between two pieces of parchment paper and bash it with a rolling pin until is it similar in consistency to the pastry
  9. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough into a cross shape(this is why you cut the cross in the dough earlier)
  10. Make sure that the centre of the dough is thicker than the cross sections.
  11. Mold the butter to the same size and shape as the centre of the dough and place it on top
  12. Fold over each of the arms to the cross onto the butter, and each other.
  13. press down at the edges to make sure the butter is sealed in.
  14. Now to do the first ‘turn’
  15. Turn the dough so that the folded edges are pointing away from you, and a sealed edge is facing you.
  16. Roll the dough out until it is about 6 inches wide and 20 inches long.
  17. Fold one third of the 20 inches over onto the rest of the dough, then fold the remaining third up onto it.
  18. Turn the dough one quarter turn and roll out again to 6 inches by 20 inches, folding it over then, as before.
  19. That has completed two turns.
  20. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  21. Remove from the fridge and do two more turns as described above.
  22. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c Fan
  23. Wrap and refrigerate again for 20 minutes.
  24. Then remove and do the final two turns.
  25. Wrap again and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  26. Sprinkle a good covering of sugar onto the work surface and place the puff pastry on it.  Sprinkle more sugar on the pastry and start to roll into a an oblong with the short side about 13 inches.
  27. Keep covering with sugar as you roll, making sure that there is enough sugar underneath to stop it sticking. 
  28. When you have an oblong about 13 inches by 20-24 inches you can sprinkle more sugar over the top and gently roll  it in.
  29. Fold over one of the long sides, one quarter of the way in and pat down so it sticks to the remaining pastry.
  30. Fold the other long side in the same way.
  31. Fold both sides in again, until they are just touching in the middle.  Pat down again.
  32. Now fold one half over onto the other half.
  33. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes(if your fridge is not wide enough you can cut the long sausage of pastry half)
  34. Remove the pastry from the fridge and cut into slices about 1 cm thick.
  35. Dip each slice, on both sides, into the remaining sugar and place on a lined baking sheet.  Make sure you leave a couple of inches between each slice, to give it room to expand.
  36. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and crispy and the top is slightly caramelised.
  37. Remove from the over and allow to cool on a wire rack.

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