Flaky puff pastry with Dijon mustard, ham, swiss, caramelized onions, and a drizzle of a garlic-herb egg wash. Ham and Swiss Slab Pie is great for Game Day or using leftover holiday ham!
I’m celebrating Game Day retro-style this year! I’ve been having a lot of fun over the past few months looking through some of my mother’s old recipe books from the years before I was born, into my early childhood. Some of the recipes from the newspapers and magazines of the era have made both of us chuckle a bit, but a good many of them have given me inspiration for some reinvented dishes. This delicious Ham and Swiss Slab Pie evolved from a recipe my mother clipped around 1980. I layer buttery, flaky puff pastry with Dijon mustard, thinly-sliced ham, shredded swiss, caramelized onions, and a drizzle of a garlic-herb egg wash. Baked until puffed and golden, the pie makes a pretty, yet rustic presentation, making it perfect for gathering around the TV to watch the game this weekend with your beverage of choice.
The recipe that this slab pie originated from was called “Greek Pizza,” though neither of us quite understands the name, because there’s really nothing “Greek” about it! The original was a very rich, ham-centric dish, calling for both a full pound of ham and a pound of cheese. The concept was good, but it was quite salty and the texture was much heavier than we can comfortably enjoy these days. We decided to resurrect the recipe this fall and started tweaking. I ended up dialing back the ham and cheese quantities significantly, which instantly lightened the texture. We both thought that it needed a little Dijon to contrast the rich flavors, and my mother had the great suggestion of caramelized onions for a touch of sweetness. (“Touchdown” for Mom!)
If there’s one step I wouldn’t skip here, it’s cutting the three slits in the top of the pie before baking. The original recipe did not call for this, and I think it greatly contributed to the pie’s heavy, almost soggy texture. The steam needs to escape for all of those flaky layers in the pastry to properly puff. We most enjoy this slab pie after it’s allowed to cool for about 10 minutes, so that the butter in the puff pastry has a chance to settle and the flavors can meld a bit. Since we were able to bring this oldie but goodie into 2016, I might be feeling inspired to throw on a pair of scrunch socks with my leggings and jersey on Sunday and really party like it’s 1980. I promise to spare you the pics!
More of my favorite recipes for Game Day entertaining:
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip
Hot Crab Salsa Dip
Grilled Meatball Subs
Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle-Lime Aioli
Jam Crumble Bars
Strawberry Basil Soda
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
Beer Raised Waffles with Cheddar and Scallions (great with chili!)
Ham and Swiss Slab Pie
Flaky puff pastry with Dijon mustard, ham, swiss, caramelized onions, and a drizzle of a garlic-herb egg wash. Great for Game Day or for using leftover holiday ham!
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup caramelized onions ,chopped (about 1/2 large onion)
- 4 ounces (1/4-pound) thinly-sliced ham (I use Virginia or Black Forest)
- 6 ounces shredded swiss cheese (I use Emmentaler or Gruyère)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic powder, and parsley. Set aside.
Roll out both sheets of puff pastry to 10-inch squares. Place one piece of puff pastry onto the baking sheet and spread with Dijon mustard to the edges. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over the mustard, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Layer ham slices over the cheese, followed by the caramelized onions, thyme, and remaining cheese. Spoon all but 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture over the second layer of cheese.
Place second square of puff pastry over the top. Lightly brush edges with reserved egg mixture (approx. 1/2 inch border) and fold bottom edge over to create a crust of double thickness. Carefully crimp edges with a fork. Brush top of puff pastry with remaining egg mixture. Cut three, 1 to 2 inch slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape while baking.
Bake for 25 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing into squares or strips and serving.