Let’s be honest. I’m no stellar baker. I do, however, like to play with flavors. Let’s also be honest that croissants are the number one – not to mention more socially acceptable – way to indulge in about a pound of butter second only to eating it right out of the container.
I’ve been searching for an easy and new take on croissants that would also give me some protein (prosciutto is healthy – right?) and allow me to justify my craving. On a recent trip to a very good friend’s wedding and in search of a quick breakfast, I stumbled upon Alice Bakery & Confectionery in North Whales, Pennsylvania. Sitting just behind the counter, I spotted an enormous and beautiful prosciutto and gruyère breakfast pastry – the kind you just can’t say no to. With only a single one left in the case and 3 people ahead of me in line, I went through the typically foodie anxiety that every person in line might dash my hope of the perfect morning meal before I even got my coffee. But lo and behold, the stars aligned, and the croissant was mine. After weeks of recalling the flavor, Alice Bakery inspired this sweetened twist on prosciutto croissants with fig preserves and a cardamom butter glaze.
Another point of honesty: people rarely have 2+ hours to make puff pastry dough from scratch. I bought a box of Dufour pastry dough from Whole Foods. It’s a perfect and easy-to-use solution for the busy baker. You can also usually purchase dough from a local bakery if you order in advance.
1 package (approx. 14 ounces) of puff pastry, defrosted or fresh
8-10 thin slices of prosciutto
6 tablespoons fig spread
3 tbsp butter
1 tsbp ground cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
Yields 8 servings. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease cookie sheets and set aside.
Flour a clean surface and unpack or roll out the puff pastry dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry dough into triangles (isosceles) that are approximately 5 inches in width and 7 inches in height.
Spread a generous amount of fig preserves onto the triangles of pastry dough. Place prosciutto on top of fig spread. Gently roll the dough up to the point and tuck the sides to form a croissant. Place on the cookie sheet. Allow room between pastries for the dough to expand. Set aside.
Heat butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, add cardamom and cinnamon. After heating a few more minutes, allow the butter to cool. (I prefer softer croissants, but if you’d like a shinier pastry with a slightly crunchy outer layer, only melt and infuse 1 tbsp of butter with spices. Once it is cool enough not to scramble the egg, replace the other 2 tbsp butter with 2 egg yolks and whisk thoroughly.)
Heat the butter again to encourage the cardamom flavor to infuse in the butter. Generously brush the butter on the croissants.
Place pastries in the oven and bake for about 14 minutes or until slightly golden. Allow them to cool before serving. Yum.