Impressing your guests is as easy as this Smoked Salmon Vol-Au-Vent recipe with herb cream cheese is to make. Leave everyone thinking you’re a pastry aficionado with this elegant party appetizer!
I love all things puff pastry, who doesn’t?! A flaky and buttery pastry is everything that is perfect in this world. I especially love how versatile they are; you can make something sweet or savory with puff pastry and it will always be a show stopper. Do you have a party coming up? Maybe some friends coming over for dinner? Why don’t you make them these super fancy, but super simple, Smoked Salmon Vol-au-Vent recipe with herb cream cheese. They’re the perfect party appetizer for any gathering.
What gives these vol-au-vents their height is the layers within the puff pastry. Puff pastry is made by folding butter into a pastry dough and freezing it before incorporating more butter. Mo’ butter is mo’ better, right? When you bake these little puffs of deliciousness, steam is created from the melting of the butter and puffs up the dough. You then get these towering beauties, ready to fill and eat.
There are a few ways to get the most puff for your buck:
- Keep the dough as cold as possible before baking.
- Handle the dough as gently as possible, treat it like a baby.
- Bake the dough at a high temperature for a short amount of time.
I like to work with my dough in batches and refrigerate the others in between tasks. This helps keep the butter as cold as possible so there is as much steam as possible during the bake. Puff pastry is a… pastry, which means it’s very delicate. When stacking the ring on top of the base, try to be gentle when pressing and try to work the dough gently.
The ideal baking temperature for these lovelies is about 400 degrees, but you’re only baking them for about 15 minutes. That’s insane for bakes. I like to cool these vol-au-vents, once they’re out of the oven, on a wire rack to ensure even air circulation so they cool quickly.
Smoked Salmon Vol-Au-Vent Recipe
While your vents are cooling, I find it to be the perfect time to work on my filling for this Smoked Salmon Vol-Au-Vent recipe. Using a food processor is probably the best way to get the cream cheese to fully cream and achieve a smooth consistency. In order to keep the cheese a mostly white color, fold in your herbs with a spatula once the cheese is smooth. This helps keep the herbs from being bruised and leeching their color.
I love the addition of smoked salmon to this appetizer. It’s robust in flavor and gives an elegant touch, without it being out of a sensible budget. I also like to pair the baby dill leaves as part of the garnish to tie the whole look together. With this recipe and with these tips, you’ll have no problem impressing anyone who eats these smoked salmon vol-au-vents.
- 2 each puff pastry sheets, kept cold
- 2 oz butter, melted
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp sriracha
- ½ oz chives, finely sliced
- ¼ oz dill, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 oz smoked salmon, portioned for garnish
- Dill for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Lay puff pastry on top.
- Using a pastry brush, brush melted butter all over the top of the pastry.
- Using pastry cutters, cut out circles in pastry. Count how many circles you have and use half for the base and half for the rings.
- Refrigerate the bases, and using a smaller cutter, cut out the middle of the rings.
- Pull bases out of the refrigerator and place rings on top of bases, so that the edges line up. Gently press down the rings onto the bases to seal them.
- Place sheet pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cream the cheese in a food processor with shallots until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, as well as sriracha, and blend together.
- Fold in herbs and lemon zest until well combined. Place in a piping bag with a star tip and leave out at room temperature.
- When ready to fill, use the tip of a sharp knife and hollow out vents. Discard any pastry that is dislodged.
- Fill pastry with cream cheese mix until the vol-au-vent is full. Garnish with smoked salmon and baby dill leaves.
Home Chef Tip: To keep the vol-au-vents from tipping over while cooking in the oven, keep them as cold as possible before baking and consider balancing a wire rack over the baking sheet to help the puff pastry bake in place.
We hope you love this Smoked Salmon Vol-Au-Vent recipe from SoFabFood Home Chef, Marlee from I Just Make Sandwiches, as much as we do. If you enjoyed this delightful recipe, be sure to stop by our Appetizer Section to find more like it. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook and visit us on Pinterest because we have a lot of elegant party appetizers there too. Enjoy!