Appetizers & Snacks/ Easter/ Party/ puff pastry

Asparagus in puff pastry with ham and cheese

29 April 2021 | Last Updated: 29 May 2021 By Aleksandra

Crispy puff pastry bundles with asparagus, melted cheese, ham, honey-mustard sauce, and sprinkled with crunchy almonds on top. Asparagus in puff pastry is very quick to make, tastes amazing, and looks impressive. It‘s perfect as an appetizer for your guests or a quick snack for your family!

Asparagus in puff pastry with ham and cheese on a grey background.
Asparagus in puff pastry with ham and cheese cut in half.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make asparagus in puff pastry:

Asparagus – you’ll need a bunch of asparagus for this recipe. You can also make these pastries without it when the asparagus season is over. I seasoned the asparagus with olive oil, lemon juice, and thyme.

Tips for buying asparagus: 

  • size: the thinner the asparagus is the better it tastes, super-thin asparagus is a true delicacy, and thick asparagus is often woody
  • texture: the stalks should stand up straight, they should not be limp, if you try to bend them they should snap and not be elastic, they should be smooth and not wrinkled, the tips of asparagus should be tightly closed and compact, and not starting to spread out
  • color: the color of asparagus should be rich green, avoid buying it if it has a dull green color, the tips of asparagus should be green with specks of purple, the bottoms of the spears will be white, but they should not be dry and flaky

Buying great asparagus is crucial for this recipe. Woody, tough, stringy asparagus will ruin the pastries (well, you will probably just take it out of the pastries and throw it out! I’m speaking from experience!). If you don’t have good-quality asparagus, just make these pastries without it, they’re good on their own too! Reserve low-quality asparagus for an asparagus soup.

Puff pastry – all-butter puff pastry tastes best but you can use any puff pastry you have on hand. If you’re using frozen, let it thaw in the fridge overnight.

Ham – use any ham that you like.

Cheese – I used Swiss cheese but really any cheese will work, they also taste great with brie cheese.

Honey mustard sauce – this is optional. This recipe was actually first posted without the sauce and now I have updated it with the sauce included. If you’re using less flavorful cheese like Swiss cheese it is a great addition, but with a more flavorful cheese like brie, it is a nice addition but not necessary.

To top the pastries – an egg wash and flaked almonds (optional). If you don’t have eggs on hand, you can also brush pastries with milk or cream. Instead of flaked almonds, you can sprinkle them with sesame seeds or everything bagel seasoning.

Labeled ingredients for asparagus in puff pastry.

How to make asparagus in puff pastry step by step:

Start by setting the oven to 375°F/190°C/Gas Mark 5, no fan. If you have a convection oven (fan-assisted) reduce the temperature by about 20° or follow the manufacturer‘s instructions.

Asparagus on a chopping board with woody ends cut off. Asparagus on a plate tosses with olive oil and lemon juice.

STEP 1: Wash about 20 spears (1 lb/500g) of asparagus and cut off their woody ends.

  • How to trim asparagus: It‘s important to mention how to cut off the woody ends of asparagus. The ‘snap method’ is wasteful, the asparagus can break in each section of their length – try it yourself.
  • How to trim asparagus properly: Cut off the woody ends where the green color starts to fade to white, so sometimes you have to cut off a lot, and sometimes almost nothing. You don’t have to throw them away though! You can add them to your homemade broth, especially if you plan on making cream of asparagus soup or freeze and use later. Cut off only really woody ends, that are white/pale green.

STEP 2: Unless you’ve purchased very thin asparagus, peel 1/2 bottom with a vegetable peeler. Toss the asparagus with a tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste.

A sheet of puff pastry cut into 6 squares. A square of puff pastry topped with cheese and honey mustard sauce.

STEP 3: Cut a sheet of puff pastry (about 10 oz / 280g) into 6 parts (6 squares).

STEP 4: Make the honey mustard sauce – simply whisk 1 Tbsp honey, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, and 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place a slice of cheese on each square of puff pastry. Spread a teaspoon of the sauce on each slice of cheese.

A piece of puff pastry with ham, cheese, and asparagus on top. Puff pastry appetizer is being sprinkled with flaked almonds.

STEP 5: Place a slice of ham on top of the cheese, followed by about 4-5 asparagus spears, pour over the remaining olive oil and lemon juice mixture, sprinkle with thyme (you can use fresh leaves or dried thyme).

STEP 6: Wrap the edges of the dough around the asparagus and press to seal. Brush the dough with a beaten egg. Sprinkle the dough with flaked almonds (about 1 Tbsp/bundle) and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the pastries are golden.

Leave to cool and enjoy!

Puff pastry asparagus bundles on a grey background.

Some tips on working with puff pastry

  • Homemade puff pastry and store-bought all-butter puff pastry are more sticky and harder to work with than more available shortening-based puff pastry, so it‘s good to sprinkle it well with flour before cutting it into squares.
  • If you’re using frozen puff pastry, thaw it in the fridge first, preferably overnight.
  • Don‘t leave the puff pastry outside of the fridge for too long, it will become sticky and hard to work with. Prepare all the ingredients first and take the dough out of the fridge when everything is ready.

Storage

This asparagus appetizer tastes best right after baking, still warm. Let them cool and store them in a tightly-closed container. After about 2 hours, the puff pastry will start to lose its crispiness but will be still very good. The pastries can be warmed up in the oven but won‘t be as good as freshly made.

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

Asparagus in puff pastry with ham and cheese

Puff pastry bundles with asparagus, melted cheese, and ham, sprinkled with crunchy almonds on top. Asparagus in puff pastry is very quick to make, tastes amazing and looks impressive. It‘s perfect as an appetizer for your guests or a quick snack for your family!
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Asparagus in puff pastry with ham and cheese on a grey background.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 puff pastry bundles
Calories 478kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the pastries:

  • 1 lb (500g) asparagus about 20 spears
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 10 oz (280g) puff pastry sheet
  • 6 slices ham
  • 6 slices cheese Swiss cheese or camembert/brie
  • 1 teaspoon thyme you can use dried or fresh
  • salt and pepper to taste

honey mustard sauce (optional):

  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey

additionally:

  • 1 egg for brushing the pastries
  • 6 tablespoons flaked almonds

Instructions

  • Start by setting the oven to 375°F/190°C/Gas Mark 5, no fan. If you have a convection oven (fan-assisted) reduce the temperature by about 20° or follow the manufacturer‘s instructions.
  • Prepare the asparagus: wash the asparagus and cut off the woody ends (where the green color starts to fade to white, so sometimes you have to cut off a lot, and sometimes almost nothing). Unless you've purchased very thin asparagus, peel 1/2 bottom with a vegetable peeler. Toss the asparagus with a tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Make the honey mustard sauce: whisk honey, mustard, and lemon juice until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cut the puff pastry sheet into six squares.
  • Place the puff pastry squares on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Place a slice of cheese on each square of puff pastry. Spread a teaspoon of the sauce on each slice of cheese.
  • Place a slice of ham on top of the cheese, followed by about 4-5 asparagus spears, pour over the remaining olive oil and lemon juice mixture, sprinkle with thyme, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Wrap the edges of the dough around the asparagus and press to seal. Brush the dough with a beaten egg. Sprinkle the dough with flaked almonds (about 1 Tbsp/bundle).
  • Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the pastries are golden.
  • Leave to cool and enjoy!

Notes

  • How to buy asparagus: the best asparagus is thin, the stalks should stand up straight, they should not be limp, if you try to bend them they should snap and not be elastic, they should be smooth and not wrinkled, the tips of asparagus should be tightly closed and compact, and not starting to spread out. Buying great asparagus is crucial for this recipe. Woody, tough, stringy asparagus will ruin the pastries. If you don’t have good-quality asparagus, just make these pastries without it, they’re good on their own too! Reserve low-quality asparagus for an asparagus soup.
  • Honey mustard sauce – this is optional. If you’re using less flavorful cheese like Swiss cheese it is a great addition, but with a more flavorful cheese like brie, it is a nice addition but not necessary.
  • Storage: These puff pastry bundles taste best right after baking, still warm. Let them cool and store them in a tightly-closed container. After about 2-3 hours, they will be no longer crispy. They can be warmed up in the oven but won‘t be as good as freshly made.
  • Some tips on how to work with puff pastry:
    • Homemade puff pastry and store-bought all-butter puff pastry are more sticky and harder to work with than more available shortening-based puff pastry, so it‘s good to sprinkle it well with flour before cutting it into squares.
    • If you’re using frozen puff pastry, thaw it in the fridge first, preferably overnight.
    • Don‘t leave the puff pastry outside of the fridge for too long, it will become sticky and hard to work with. Prepare all the ingredients first and take the dough out of the fridge when everything is ready.
  • Ingredient notes: You can use any ham and cheese that you like. I used Swiss cheese, you can also use gouda, gruyere, or brie. Instead of flaked almonds, you can use sesame seeds or everything bagel seasoning. You can also omit them.
  • Calories = 1 pastry (1/6 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine international
Keyword asparagus in puff pastry, puff pastry bundles with asparagus

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Karly
    20 May 2019 at 00:06

    Awesome presentation! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      20 May 2019 at 14:10

      thank you : )

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