For an appetiser that says “I love you”, you really can’t go past my Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Hearts. They are the perfect way to begin your Valentine’s Day celebrations. These little savoury pastries are great appetisers. They are an ideal accompaniment to a glass of celebratory Champagne and they’re not too heavy, so they won’t spoil the meal that follows.
Why we love this recipe:
Whilst the heart shape makes them ideal for Valentine’s Day, there are many other occasions throughout the year when they would also be perfect, such as Mother’s Day or a loved one’s birthday. Or, just enjoy them all year round – for no particular reason.
My Puff Pastry Hearts are made from ingredients that you may already have on hand. Regular readers will know how much I love ready-made puff pastry and always have some in the freezer.
Just 5 ingredients make these delicious savoury pastries. Light, crispy puff pastry holds a filling of savoury, smoky ham and melted cheese; Dijon mustard adds further flavour. A brush of beaten egg glazes the pastries, giving them a golden, burnished appearance when cooked.
For relaxed entertaining, you can make the Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Hearts in advance and warm them just before serving.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Puff Pastry – an ingredient that I always have on hand as there are so many ways to use it.
Dijon Mustard – a French mustard which adds a gentle spiciness.
Ham – has a savoury, slightly smoky flavour.
Cheese – use a full flavoured cheese; I have used a cheddar.
Egg – a beaten egg helps the pastry edges adhere. As well, it is brushed on the top of the pastries to add colour and shine.
Step by step instructions:
To begin, remove the puff pastry from the freezer to defrost.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (400 F).
- Cut out 16 puff pastry hearts.
- Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper and place 8 hearts on the baking paper.
- Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard over each of the 8 hearts, leaving a ½ cm / .2 inch gap around the edges.
- Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the mustard, followed by the finely chopped ham.
- Brush the edges of the hearts with the beaten egg. Lay a puff pastry heart on top of one of the hearts and press around the edges to seal. Use a fork to push the edges together. Repeat for the rest of the hearts.
- Prick the top of each heart with a fork to let the steam out whilst cooking.
- Brush the top of each pastry with beaten egg.
- Place into the oven and cook for 13-15 minutes, or until golden.
Remove from the oven and allow the pastries to cool a few minutes before serving.
Tips for success and FAQs:
Start with good quality puff pastry. I like all butter puff pastry for its flavour. Some others have a lot of additives.
As there are so few ingredients for the filling, it is important that they are good quality. Choose a ham with good flavour, such as a Black Forest ham or another smoked ham. I like to use a full-bodied cheddar cheese. The Dijon mustard adds a gentle spiciness to the filling.
Puff pastry needs to be kept cool. If it defrosts before you are ready to use it just cover it and return it to the fridge. It will be too difficult to work with if it does not remain chilled. On the other hand, if it is not sufficiently defrosted, it will crack as you to attempt to use it.
You can store the pastries in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Before serving, re-heat in your oven for about 5 minutes until they are warm.
When the Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Hearts have cooled, store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Re-heat them from frozen in a pre-heated oven until they are warm.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
We love to have puff pastry on hand, and these are some more of our favourite ways to use it:
- Mini Bacon and Onion Pasties
- Spinach and Feta Galettes
- Bacon and Egg Galettes
- Blue Cheese Tarts
- Or, check out our complete collection of Savoury Puff Pastry Recipes here.
If you’re looking for an appetiser that says “I love you”, look no further than my Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Hearts. The heart is the universal symbol of love, so it is a clear declaration of your affection. And whilst they are ideal for Valentine’s day, you can make them any day of the year to serve to people who are special in your life.
Enjoy, and let me know in the comments below when you have tried these delicious savoury pastries!
Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Hearts
- 2 sheets butter puff pastry (22 ½ cm/9” square) See Notes 1 and 2
- 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 25 g (.8 oz) ham, finely chopped See Note 3
- 35 g (1/3 cup) grated cheddar cheese See Note 4
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat your oven to 200 Degrees C (400 F).
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.Cut out your pastry hearts – you should be able to get 8 per puff pastry sheet. See Note 5Place 8 hearts on the baking tray.
- Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard over each of the 8 hearts, leaving a ½ cm (.2 inch) gap around the edges.
- Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the mustard, followed by the ham. Press down gently to secure the filling.
- Brush the heart edges with the beaten egg.Lay a puff pastry heart on top of one heart and press around the edges to seal. Use a fork to push the edges together. Repeat for the rest of the hearts.
- Prick each heart with a fork to let the steam out whilst cooking.
- Brush the top of each of the hearts with the beaten egg.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and cook for 13-15 minutes, or until golden.Cool on the tray for 5 minutes before serving.
- I like butter puff pastry but use the pastry of your choice. I have used two sheets, each measuring 22 ½ cm (9 inches) square.
- Puff pastry needs to be kept cool. If it defrosts before you are ready to use it just cover it and return it to the fridge. It will be too difficult to work with if it does not remain chilled. On the other hand, if it is not sufficiently defrosted it will crack as you to attempt to use it.
- With so few ingredients, use good quality ham with a full flavour such as Black Forest Ham or another variety of smoked ham.
- I like to use a full-flavoured cheddar cheese.
- This recipe is made using a 7cm (2.75 inch) heart cookie cutter.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on one pastry. The nutritional information is an estimate only.