In a bid to find something yummy worth talking about on here, and kind of tired of searching the internet for inspiration for once, I again opened up some of my cookbooks. Haven’t done that in a while. While I’m trying to slim down on buying fiction books in print due to lack of space, I still love opening a cookbook and flipping through the pages. I knew Ina had always inspired us, so we went with a couple of her recipes for this week’s picks. These “batons”, and I use that lightly for ours because we ended up cutting ours too short due to an error on my part, are incredibly easy and taste great, too. Couldn’t ask for anything more!
You’ll notice the recipe calls for a dijon mustard, but if you’re not a fan of the stuff you can certainly use regular yellow mustard or maybe even a honey mustard variety. I love honey mustard personally so that’s what I’m using next time.
By the way, Gruyere is such a pricey cheese, but our Publix now has their own Gruyere cheese in the deli and it was fantastic. And cheaper.
Get out your rolling pin and thin the puff pastry out pretty well. Sis blogging partner had it down the day we made this. I’m impressed with anyone that can successfully roll out pastry because I happen to mostly suck at it. In fact, it was suspiciously easy to work with this stuff that day, when we’re usually having to bust tail and work quickly with it. The large amount of butter in puff pastry means it’s hard to work with sometimes as it gets closer to room temp; it wants to stick and become almost puddle-like in consistency. Maybe it was merely less hot and humid the day we made these, I can’t remember.
The mustard becomes a thin filling, brushed onto only half the pastry, preferably with a pastry brush as shown for ease, but if you don’t have one just do the best you can with a spatula. It’s kind of fun, like getting to paint your food.
Next you want to do an egg wash all the way around the outer edge of the pastry. Yeah, that looks like mustard on the brush, but trust us that it’s an egg wash.
Take the un-brushed half and fold it as neatly as possible over the mustard half. There, you just gave your mustard half a blankey. Awwww.
Ina’s batons are batons because they’re supposed to be six inches long, but I was befuddled that say, I suppose, and suggested to sis blogging partner to cut them as shown. Either way, at the end of the day, they still work just fine.
Once you lay them onto your baking sheet, give the tops of them a brief egg wash as well. The recipe says to not let any get on those very thin sides, which is hard to do. Our guess was that this is meant to make a nicer presentation, with the tops getting more browned than the sides as her picture showed.
Aaand here comes that yummy Gruyere cheese. We grated a lot more than the recipe said to, but that’s OK because the ones with a lot more cheese piled on turned out better looks-wise as well as taste. So be liberal with your cheese. Your taste buds will want to give you all the hugs.
The batons also get a sprinkling of sea salt too before baking, just enough to add a special savory tang to the pastry and cheese.
What you end up with are simple, easy-to-make appetizers or side item that pack a lot of flavor. The buttery pastry is hiding that zingy dijon kick that’s maximized by the addition of the now-crisp cheese. These would make a great appetizer for a party or even as a simple side item for a small lunch. They were definitely a hit with us!
Gruyere & Mustard Batons
Prep Time: 15 minutes Chill time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 15-18 minutes Level: Easy Makes: 12 batons
- Flour for dusting the board
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and very cold.
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
- 3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling
Unfold the sheet of puff pastry on a well-floured board, and roll it to an 11 x 13 inch rectangle with a floured rolling pin. (Diagonal strokes keep the pastry rectangular.) With a shorter end closest to you, brush the lower half of the pastry evenly with the mustard, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges.
Brush the border of the pastry with the egg wash and fold the top half over the bottom half, lining up the edges. Place the pastry on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and chill for 15 minutes.
Place the pastry on a board and trim the three irregular edges with a sharp knife. With the folded edge away from you, cut the pastry in 1 x 6 inch stripes. You will have 10 to 12 batons.
Spread the batons out on the sheet pan so they’re not touching. Brush the tops lightly with the egg wash (don’t allow the egg wash to drip down the sides) and sprinkle evenly with the Gruyere, Parmesan, and 1 1/2 tsp sea salt. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the batons for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Allow to cool on the pan for 3 minutes and serve warm.
Don’t forget to make sure you’ve got space in your fridge to chill these a couple of times in the whole process.
Remember to space your batons about an inch or so apart on your baking sheet.
I might do a smaller, and therefore thinner, amount of mustard next time. Mustard is such potent stuff.
We used whatever sea salt we had on hand, some coarse variety. Did not bother to get a special flaked variety for this. If you go with a coarse kind then, keep in mind that the pieces tend to be a little bigger. Just use less. You want a salty hint, not an overwhelming salty taste.
You can make these all the way up to the baking point, cover, refrigerate and then bake the next day.