Ham-and-Cheese Puff Pastries

These deliciously simple breakfast pastries can be made ahead and stored on hand for up to two weeks.

Ham-and-Cheese Puff Pastries
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
10 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Cool Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

Ham it up with these deceptively simple savory pastries that are perfect for weekend brunch. Made with flaky puff pastry, these Ham-and-Cheese Puff Pastries with Creole Mustard taste like the product of a classic French bakery.

No dough lamination required here: the puff pastry—which you can find in the freezer aisle—is flaky and light, complemented by a lovely filling of ham, Gruyere, thyme and honey mustard. Creole mustard adds tang and thyme brings a subtle freshness to the filling, which does not overwhelm the delicate pastry. As an added bonus, this ham and cheese puff pastry has serious staying power—it tastes just as great when it has been sitting out at room temperature.

Our Test Kitchen offered a few tips for using puff pastry. Before using, thaw store-bought puff pastry dough in the fridge overnight or for 40 minutes at room temperature. Be sure not to unfold the pastry sheets until fully thawed to prevent tearing. Keep the puff pastry dough cool. If you're using one sheet at a time, it's best to keep the unused sheets chilled. Save time by filling and sealing the puff pastry dough a day or two before. Cover and chill (or freeze up to two weeks) until you're ready to bake.


  • 3 tablespoons Creole mustard

  • 1 tablespoon honey 

  • 1 (17.3-oz.) pkg. frozen puff pastry sheets (such as Pepperidge Farm), thawed

  • All-purpose flour for work surface

  • 8 deli ham slices (preferably Black Forest, 4 oz.)

  • 4 (½-oz.) Gruyère cheese slices

  • ¾ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F with racks in upper third and lower third positions. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Stir together Creole mustard and honey in a small bowl; set aside.

  2. Unfold each puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Roll each sheet into a 15- x 12-inch rectangle. Transfer pastry rectangles to prepared baking sheets. Spread mustard mixture evenly over half of each rectangle lengthwise, leaving a ½-inch border around edges. Layer ham and Gruyère slices evenly over mustard mixture, leaving a ½-inch border. Sprinkle evenly with thyme.

  3. Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush edges of both pastry rectangles with egg wash, and fold in half lengthwise over filling, creating 2 (15- x 6-inch) rectangles, and crimp edges with a fork to seal. Brush top of each puff pastry with egg wash. Cut 5 or 6 (3-inch) diagonal slits on top of each pastry, and gently separate slits to slightly reveal filling.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until puff pastries are deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating baking sheets between top and bottom racks halfway through bake time. Remove from oven; cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut each puff pastry crosswise into 5 pieces. Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with additional thyme, and serve.

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