Schinkengipfeli (Swiss Ham Croissants) are the ultimate appetizer or snack to enjoy with a glass of wine. They feature a savory but mild ham and cheese filling all wrapped up in a golden brown flaky pastry. Rather than using homemade dough, this recipe simplifies the process by using store-bought puff pastry.
16 to 18ounces(450 to 500 grams) all-butter puff pastry(2 sheets)
4 ½ounces(125 grams) sliced ham, finely chopped
3 ½ounces(100 grams) quark (farmer’s cheese)(about ½ cup packed)
1tablespoonfinely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1teaspoonwhole grain (coarse) mustard or Dijon mustard
⅛teaspoonkosher (coarse) salt
⅛teaspoonground black pepper
Pinchground cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) with the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine ham, quark, parsley, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne together in a mixing bowl until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Invert a large plate with a diameter matching the width of your puff pastry sheet (about 9 ½ to 10-inches in diameter for example) over one of the sheets of puff pastry and use a knife or pizza cutter to trace around the edges to cut it into a circle. Discard the edges as scraps or use for a different purpose.
Cut the circle of puff pastry into 8 wedges. Very lightly brush the top of each wedge with a little beaten egg (to help it stick together and seal when you roll it up).
Divide half the filling evenly between the 8 wedges of dough at the widest end of each wedge. Make sure to leave a small border on either side of each wedge uncovered. Then, starting at the wide end, roll the dough towards the pointy end, pinching the open sides together to completely seal closed as you go (as you roll one complete rotation, you'll see the opening on either side where some filling may be peeking out; just carefully pinch along the seam to enclose the filling).
Bend the points at either end of the rolled up dough to create a crescent shape. Repeat this process with the remaining sheet of puff pastry and the remaining filling. Place the crescents on the prepared baking sheets. If you have time to spare, chill for about 20 to 30 minutes (they bake up flakier if they are cold when they go into the oven).
Brush the tops with more of the beaten egg, then bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom part way through baking. The finished croissants should be golden and puffed. Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or even cold.
Assemble up to 1 day in advance, cover and refrigerate until ready to brush with egg and bake. You can also freeze them unbaked (before brushing with egg) for about 1 month.
Schinkengipfeli are best the day they are baked. Refresh leftovers in the oven or toaster oven until heated through and the pastry crisps back up. The overall texture will be slightly different but they will still taste great.
The diameter of the circle you cut into your dough will depend on the brand of puff pastry you use. I prefer Trader Joe's brand and can usually get about a 10-inch circle because that is approximately how wide the pastry is. Different brands may allow for 12-inch diameter circles. I recommend cutting your circle as wide as you can given the dimensions of your pastry.
Leftover filling? Use the dough scraps to assemble a few oddly shaped turnovers and bake them using the same instructions.