When I watched last week’s The Great British Bake Off it was patisserie week, so already I was a bit more interested than usual. After watching the whole show I realised I hadn’t attempted any of the recipes they featured. There’s no savarin here and no fondant fancies, but now there are palmiers. Maple & pecan palmiers to be exact.
Just before we get to the palmiers though, do they really eat fondant/French fancies in France? I mean religieuse would’ve been a better challenge, wouldn’t it? I’m terrified there’ll be a backlash now and fondant fancies are actually huge in France and I’ve just been unobservant, so if I have any French readers, do please let me know.
Back to the palmiers, my absolutely favourite Danish pastries are those little maple and pecan plaits you can get in the supermarket or a maple and pecan yumyum from Waitrose. I don’t think any of these are a particularly good example of a Danish pastry, but something about how mass produced they taste and look is for me part of the appeal. They’re just one of life’s guilty little pleasures.
These maple and pecan palmiers are my homage to these supermarket pastries, I know I’m probably not selling these very well, but they honestly taste absolutely delicious when made with homemade puff pastry. Palmiers were first made at the beginning of the 20th century, not a lot is known about the pastry, but their name comes from their distinctive shape which looks like the leaves of a palm tree, or elephant’s ears.
The palmiers are made from puff pastry, if you’re really pushed for time you can buy ready made puff pastry, but I made my own and it tastes so much better than the shop bought. The recipe I have linked to also makes twice the amount of pastry, so you can freeze half the batch of pastry and save it for danish pastries, mille-feuille or a St Honore.
When you make the palmiers it’s really important to chil them before you cut them. I didn’t chill the first batch I made and they uncurled quite a lot and the filling oozed out. So chill the rolled up palmier for at least 30 mins before you cut them and bake them.
- ½ quantity of Puff Pastry (or 400g Ready Made Puff Pastry)
- 100g Pecans
- 65g Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 50g Melted Butter
- Take the pecans and blitz them in a food processor, mix them with the sugar, maple syrup and butter. When it is all combined put it to one side and allow it to cool a little.
- Lightly flour a surface and roll out your puff pastry to a rectangle that is approximately 35cm by 25cm.
- If you don't have straight edges, trim your pastry slightly so that you have a neat rectangle.
- Take the maple and pecan paste and spread it all over the pastry, you can go quite near the edges but leave a small gap.
- Roll the long edges of the into a tight log, meeting in the middle to create the palmier. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and return it to the fridge for at least 30 mins to firm up before you cut them.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/gas 5 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Using a sharp knife gently cut the log into 1cm slices and place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until puffed up and golden.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool before serving.
Tomorrow is the final of The Great British Bake off, who is your money on? It’s the end of an era, no more Mel, Sue, Paul or Mary on the BBC. I think the show might be better on Channel 4. I’ve been watching since the first ever series of GBBO when Edd Kimber won and I have to admit I loved it in the early days when it was on BBC2, the baking was more realistic and approachable and it was about doing one thing well, not a hundred different things and desperately trying to get them finished by the deadline.
I’ve followed a number of the winners and their careers, particularly the ones that have branched off into patisserie like John Whaite, but on the whole, the show has become a little tired to me.
Despite all that, I know I’ll be watching the next series. What about you? Who do you think will win and will you be watching the show when it moves to channel 4?
Thanks for reading.