I like to Be Prepared, I guess it appeals to the girl guide in me…and if there is one ingredient I always have in my freezer that makes it possible to rustle something fabulous up at a moment’s notice, it’s frozen puff pastry sheets.
Ready rolled, quick to defrost and so so versatile, they can create stunning sweet or savory tarts in minutes, turn leftovers into tasty pies, make the perfect little passarounds and create cute little quiches just using bits and pieces from the fridge.
There are a few things to note:
- I always insist on using butter puff pastry. Yes, it is more expensive but its flavour and flakiness is far superior.
- Although you can remove the pastry and thaw at room temperature – I do this when I’m in a hurry – it is best thawed in the fridge for half an hour or so as that way the pastry doesn’t sweat.
- When handling the pastry, treat it with TLC, taking care not to stretch it as you cut it or if you are lining tins. Press it into the space rather than stretch it.
- If you are only using a few sheets, return the other sheets back to the freezer immediately, well wrapped in plastic wrap and sealed in a freezer bag to prevent dehydration and freezer burn.
- When baking, high temperatures are best to encourage rising. Small tarts, puffs and quiches are best cooked in the upper part of the oven. For larger tarts and pies, cook in the centre but monitor the underside and lower to the base of the oven towards the end of cooking if they need more colour.
- Invest in different size tart tins and cutters to add variety to the pies and tarts you can produce.
So, next time you are stuck with leftovers roll out the puff pastry and whip up a tart, a pie or a pastie that is sure to please.
If you need inspiration, I have lots of recipes with puff pastry on Foodcentric, here are a few, starting with this very rustic Balsamic Onion, Blue Cheese and Pear Tart (pictured above) that makes an elegant light lunch or starter to share.
P.S Just click on the images below to be taken straight to the recipe 🙂