This Savoury biscuits with Parma Ham mousse is my second recipe dedicated to the project Parma Accoglie that I presented in the recipe dedicated to Parmigiano.
Why Food Valley?
Have you ever wondered why Parmigiano Reggiano and Parma Ham come from the same area? This is certainly no coincidence and the link between them should make us reflect on the sustainability of the supply chain. In fact, the whey left over after making Parmigiano cheese (thus a product that would be processing waste) is one of the main foodstuffs in the diet of the Po Valley Heavy Pig intended for the production of ham and the rich range of deli meats that take their name from the villages in the province of Parma where they are made, a veritable map of specialities (Culatello from Zibello, Salame from Felino, Spalla from San Secondo).
Parma ham, especially with the lengthy maturation as in this recipe, is extraordinary as it is, and the best advice may be to handle it as little as possible in the kitchen. For this reason, I thought I would propose a recipe in which the ham is not cooked, but on the contrary is kept cold because that does not alter its aroma and flavour.
An unusual use of Parma Ham
It may seem like a waste to put a 24-month Parma ham in the freezer, but beware: thanks to the presence of salt and the scarcity of water, the ham will not freeze, it will merely become cold and harder. This way, we can blend it to obtain what I like to call ‘grated ham’, without it heating up and changing its smell and taste (see how to use it in other recipes).
As the ham returns to room temperature and you serve the Savoury biscuit with Parma ham mousse, the ham releases all its wonderfully sweet aromas. I adore the combination of those with the notes of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar produced a few kilometres further east.
If you want to discover the secrets of how Parma Ham is madein addition to enjoying it in local trattorias and restaurants during your visit, you can come back during the Prosciutto Festival held every year in early September in the town of Langhirano towards the Apennines (unfortunately not in 2020) or organise a visit to one of the 200 ham factories. I assure you that after seeing the level of care and detail put in its production, it will taste even better!
And to find out what to do in and around Parma, explore some suggestions on the blog posted by my friend Aura.
Parma Accoglie and my recipe for Savoury biscuits with Parma ham mousse
43.45g carbohydrates per 100g of savoury biscuits
2.6g carbohydrate per 100g mousse
Ingredients for the savoury sablé dough (you will need half)
- 200g flour for bread and yeast BiAglut** (or wheat flour for those who can have it)
- 130g butter
- 60g almonds
- 1 egg white (approx. 40g)
- 30g wholemeal teff flour*
- 30g corn starch
- 7g salt
Ingredients for the ham mousse (15 single portions)
- 220g real or vegetable cream
- 80g Parma ham matured for 24 months in a single slice and placed in the freezer
- 5g gelatine sheets*
- Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena or Reggio Emilia
- parsley leaves for decoration
**Ingredients specific for celiacs
*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on Prontuario AIC)
- Prepare the mousse, which needs to rest for at least 1 hour in the freezer. Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water. Place the ‘frozen’ Parma ham in the food processor and blend it finely, but without it heating up. Add 100g of cream to the grated ham.
- Pour 20g of cream into a saucepan and heat it; add the soaked gelatine so that it melts completely, then pour it into the container with the ham.
- Whip the remaining cream and fold it in the ham mixture with a spatula. Fill the chosen moulds with the mousse (I chose these), determine the size according to the sablé biscuit you will be making. I chose a 5cm diameter) and place in the freezer until the mousse is hard enough to be taken out of the moulds without difficulty.
- Prepare the sablé dough for the biscuits that will serve as the base for your mousse. This dose is about twice as much as you will need, but, unless you use pasteurised egg whites, it cannot be divided. So take advantage of this to make extra savoury biscuits that you can combine with dips and soft cheeses for your aperitifs. Mix the flour with the butter to form crumbs, then add all the other ingredients to form a smooth, compact mixture.
- Take two sheets of baking paper and place the sablé in between; with the help of a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 4mm and, leaving it on the paper and placing it on a tray, put it in the refrigerator to rest for at least 20 minutes. When the sablé is firm, cut small disks with a 5cm diameter biscuit cutter and place the disks on a perforated silicone mat. This way you will be able to knead and cut the dough very well.
- Bake the biscuits in a static oven preheated to 160°C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Remove the mousses from the moulds. If you are going to serve them soon, keep them at room temperature for about 30 minutes before finishing them or store them in the fridge until you need them: they will last perfectly for 2 days.
- Take a biscuit, place the mousse on it and top with a few drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena or Reggio Emilia. Decorate with a parsley leaf.
Version with gluten of Savoury biscuit with Parma ham mousse
Simply replace the 200g of gluten-free flour for the savoury sablé biscuit with an equal amount of wheat flour.