|The Count of Monte Christo Breakfast Pastries|
Secondly, respect for the production method inherited from an ancient tradition. Since any form of freezing of the meat is forbidden, the fresh thighs must rapidly reach the small hill town of Friuli, to set in motion a production process that recreates the natural rhythm of the seasons, using sea salt, without the addition of chemical additives or preservatives.
Finally, the subsequent development must occur at San Daniele del Friuli. We could define this as maturation, but in fact this process is something more, it has a lot to do with the Genius loci of the prosciutto capital. Nature lends a hand. A vital element is the good air that prevails here, where the winds that descend from the Carnic Alps meet those coming from the Adriatic, carrying resinous scents which mix with brackish aromas in an environment where humidity and temperature are regulated by the morainic land and the waters of the Tagliamento, one of the last European rivers to preserve its original course.
Reading about this Italian Masterpiece made me want to board a plane and put my name on one of these precious hams, but I would have to settle for tasting Italy, sigh..... I decided to pick the breakfast category and do a take on one of my favorite sandwiches, The Monte Christo. As most of you know making a Monte Christo is not an easy, or fast process, but I've taken those wonderful flavors and textures and put them into an easy to make breakfast pastry you will be proud to serve to anyone.
1 17.3 ounce box of puff pastry (2 sheets)
1/4 pound of sliced Prosciutto di San Daniele
1/4 pound of sliced Smoked Provolone Cheese
1/3 plus another 1/3 cup cup of four fruit jam, (the second 1/3 cup will be served with the pastries) this can be substituted with raspberry or strawberry jam if you prefer.
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll one sheet of cold, thawed puff pastry dough into a 10 inch square. divide evenly into 4 squares.
Place a slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele on the center of your square, see photo above
Place one slice of the Smoked Provolone on top of the Prosciutto di San Daniele Ham, you will probably need to break the cheese up to fit over the ham, this is fine
Place one teaspoon of four fruit jam on top of the cheese. Be careful not to add too much jam or it will leak out during the baking process
To assemble your pastry, brush all exposed areas with your egg wash, fold the dough the way you see it in the photo, making sure to use your egg wash (to glue) your dough together. Place the pastries on your parchment lined baking sheet (you will probably only be able to do 4 at one time). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. This recipe will yield 8 pastries.
While pastries are still warm sift generously with powdered sugar and serve warm with extra jam. This recipe combines the delicious, complex, salty flavor of the Prosciutto di San Daniele, the smoky, gooey provolone, the sweet, 4 fruit jam, and the crisp, flaky texture of the puff pastry. We liked it with a little extra jam spooned on top, but I really think you'll enjoy these breakfast treats.