Cheese and Smoked Ham in a Puff Pastry
Raclette is an uncooked, semi-firm cow's milk cheese. It originated from Switzerland but is also produced in the Savoie region of France and is now a local staple.
1 large egg yolk
1⁄2 cup crème fraîche
1 1⁄2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. puff pastry, cut into 2 equal pieces
1⁄2 lb. raclette, thinly sliced
1⁄2 lb. smoked ham, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine egg yolk and 1 tbsp. of the crème fraîche in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. To make béchamel sauce, melt butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes. Combine remaining crème fraîche and milk in a bowl and gradually whisk into pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Roll out pastry into two 8" × 11" rectangles, 1⁄2" thick. Place 1 sheet of dough on a baking sheet. Leaving a 1⁄2" border, prick dough with a fork. Layer cheese over dough and cover with ham slices. Spread béchamel sauce over ham. Brush pastry edges with egg wash. Cover with second sheet of pastry, sealing borders with a fork. Score pastry with a small, sharp knife. Coat with egg wash and bake until golden, 20–25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.