The excellent news is that frozen puff pastry delivers all of the specialness of puff pastry with out all of the hours and elbow grease. This freezer-aisle favourite could be dressed up in myriad candy and savory methods to create fast and straightforward hors d’oeuvres, major programs, and desserts. And there is completely no disgrace in utilizing frozen puff pastry: many cooks at all times hold a bundle available to make palmiers, cheese straws, turnovers, pot pies, pizzas, and tarts. And frozen puff pastry is very nice for residence entertaining, as most recipes could be assembled forward and baked simply earlier than the get together begins.
If you happen to’re new to frozen puff pastry or in search of inventive methods to prepare dinner and bake with it, learn on for buying and prep suggestions, plus our greatest recipes for this grocery store staple.
Eight Puff Pastry Ideas
1. Be a Savvy Shopper
Searching for one of the best puff pastry model? There are three major decisions: Dufour Basic Puff Pastry, Dealer Joe’s All Butter Puff Pastry, and Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets. The primary two are created from all butter, and Pepperidge Farm’s model incorporates vegetable shortening. Some cooks desire the flavour of all-butter pastry, and suppose the shortening leaves an disagreeable aftertaste. We discover that each choices style greatest sizzling out of the oven, however all-butter variations hold their contemporary taste longer than these with shortening.
Packages range in weight, however most are within the 1-pound vary and include both one or two sheets of pastry. Your recipe will point out how a lot to make use of, however a normal rule of thumb is that one sheet will make a candy or savory tart to serve 4 to 6, or about eight to 10 hors d’oeuvre servings. In case your field comes with one giant sheet and your recipe requires a single sheet, merely halve the big sheet crosswise and roll it out to the specified thickness; wrap tightly and freeze any leftovers to make use of later.
When buying, ensure you purchase puff pastry and never phyllo dough, which can be in the identical freezer case and in comparable packaging. The phyllo will possible work in some puff pastry recipes, however as a substitute of 1 thick sheet of pastry, it consists of many very skinny, fragile items, so it is extra delicate and will not maintain its form almost as properly.
2. Prep Your Pastry
Most frozen puff pastry is available in folded sheets. Let the pastry thaw utterly, both in a single day within the fridge or for 45 minutes at room temperature, earlier than utilizing it. Unfold the pastry gently, and for those who see any tears or holes, use your fingers—and a bit water if mandatory—to softly squeeze the pastry again collectively.
To stop sticking, roll puff pastry out on a calmly floured floor, utilizing a calmly floured rolling pin. Afterward, gently brush off any extra flour. If you happen to’re making a candy recipe, you should use sugar or cinnamon sugar in lieu of flour, and for recipes made with cheese, you should use finely grated cheese.
Watch out to not roll puff pastry too skinny, particularly if making any type of pizza or tart—the pastry must be sturdy sufficient to assist the toppings and keep crisp.
3. Hold Cool
Puff pastry is best to work with when it is chilly, so stow no matter you are not utilizing within the fridge, and if the pastry will get too tender when you’re rolling or slicing it, merely return it to the fridge or freezer to agency it up. If you happen to’re attempting to create a particular form, hold the pastry as chilly as doable and it is going to be simpler to make exact cuts. Use a pointy knife, a pizza wheel, a pastry cutter, or easy cookie cutters, and for those who’re after actually straight strains, pull out a ruler or use a straight-edged baking sheet as a information.
4. Customise Your Puff
If you happen to’re blind-baking a pie or tart shell and need to hold the within from rising as a lot as the sides, use a fork to prick the floor of the dough (such as you would a daily pie crust). The pastry will nonetheless be gentle and flaky—it simply will not have as many layers. If you happen to want straight, even sheets of puff pastry for making a napoleon, bake the puff pastry between two baking sheets so it bakes into utterly flat items.
5. Finesse Your Fillings
Puff pastry is delicate, so watch out to not weigh it down with extreme toppings or components that would launch numerous liquid and make the pastry soggy. Be notably cautious with sticky fillings or ones that would overflow and make a large number of your baking sheets. And it doesn’t matter what you are baking, line your baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat, equivalent to a Silpat, to stop sticking.
6. Make It Shine
Simply earlier than baking, brush your puff pastry with an egg glaze (one giant egg calmly overwhelmed with about 1 teaspoon water) to offer it a pretty sheen. An egg glaze may also be used like an edible glue to seal the pastry edges for turnovers, empanadas, or any stuffed pocket-style pastry; simply brush a skinny layer alongside the sides and press them collectively gently.
7. Bake Now or Later
Puff pastry is at its greatest contemporary out of the oven, so if doable, bake it in small batches and serve instantly. If you happen to prefer to entertain, observe that the majority recipes could be assembled and saved within the fridge for a few hours after which baked simply earlier than the get together. Some recipes may even be prepped however not baked, wrapped properly, and frozen for every week or two. (Verify your recipe for particular baking and defrosting directions.) If you wish to keep away from last-minute prep and do not thoughts sacrificing a few of puff pastry’s signature lightness, bake your puff pastry then cool it utterly and hold it in an hermetic container at room temperature for a few hours. And in case your pastry will get too soggy, merely pop it into the oven briefly to convey it again to life.
8. Save Your Scraps
If in case you have any items of puff pastry left over, mix them and roll them out to make palmiers or cheese straws. Leftover pastry will not puff up fairly as a lot and it might be a bit uneven, however that is much less essential with smaller shapes.
Our Favourite Puff Pastry Recipes
- Chocolate Raspberry Turnovers
- Spiced Cheese Straws
- Apple “Pizza”
- Guava and Cream Cheese Pastry
- Alsatian Cheese Tart
- Miniature Camembert Walnut Pastries
- Raspberry Crème Fraîche Puff
- Asparagus Parmesan Pastry Rolls
- Candy Palmiers
- Spinach Puffs
- Baked Pears on Sugared Puff Pastry with Caramel Sauce
- Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage
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