Cheese and Smoked Ham in a Puff Pastry

Cheese and Smoked Ham in Puff Pastry
A mellow bechamel sauce balances the sharpness of the cheese and the smokiness of the ham in this classic Savoyard recipe. See the recipe for Cheese and Smoked Ham in Puff Pastry»Jean-Daniel Sudres/Scope

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.

Cheese and Smoked Ham in a Puff Pastry (Feuillete Savoyard)
A mellow béchamel sauce balances the sharpness of the cheese and the smokiness of the ham in this classic Savoyard recipe.
Yield: serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 12 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 12 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 12 cup milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. puff pastry, cut into 2 equal pieces
  • 12 lb. raclette, thinly sliced
  • 12 lb. smoked ham, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine egg yolk and 1 tbsp. of the creme fraiche in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make bechamel 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 creme fraiche 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 bechamel 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.