The best part about these hand pies is how versatile they are. Mix and match the cheese and herbs to achieve whatever tomatoey, cheesy vibe you’re going for. This version with Gruyère, thyme, and marjoram (or a little tarragon) has a Frenchy feel, while extra-sharp cheddar, thyme, and dill can be subbed in to achieve a grilled-cheese-and-tomato-soup flavor profile. You can even take it to pizza pocket territory with low-moisture mozzarella, oregano, basil, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
14-oz. package frozen all-butter puff pastry (preferably Dufour)
large garlic cloves
large sprigs marjoram or oregano
Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
pint cherry tomatoes
tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided
tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided; plus more (optional)
oz. Gruyére or other semihard or semisoft melting cheese (such as cheddar, low-moisture mozzarella, or Fontina)
cup crème fraîche
tsp. freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
Thaw one 14-oz. package frozen all-butter puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator. Keep chilled until ready to roll out. (Or, if you forget to move pastry to the refrigerator the night before, use this day-of method. Remove the pastry from the box and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet—don’t unfold it, or it’ll crack. Let sit 10 minutes, turning the pastry halfway through. If it’s pliable after 10 minutes, unfold. If your box has more than 1 sheet of puff pastry, separate with some parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. If pastry isn’t ready, wait another 5 minutes. Puff pastry goes from stiff to flabby and sticky in a matter of minutes, so be vigilant.)
Gently crush 2 large garlic cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife just to loosen the skins. Peel and thinly slice the cloves (save peels for stock, if you like).
Strip leaves from 3–4 sprigs thyme and 2 large sprigs marjoram or oregano and coarsely chop. (You should have about 1 tsp. thyme and 1 Tbsp. marjoram.