Puff Pastry: Keeping It Light

Photo courtesy: thekitchn

What does a pot pie, a strawberry tart, and a palmier all have in common? Puff pastry is the light and buttery bond that binds these diverse dishes together. With salt, butter, flour, and water being the only ingredients, this dish seems like simplicity itself. However true, it takes some work and knowhow to get it right. Considering its versatility and taste, we promise it’ll be well worth the effort.

Photo courtesy: hbharvest

Putting The Puff Into The Puff Pastry

You may be asking yourself, “What makes these light delights so darn delicate?” By repeatedly folding butter into dough, puff pastries literally “inflate” while being baked. The folded butter rapidly evaporates in the oven, puffing up tiny pockets inside the pastry, making it light and airy. It also serves to create that signature crispy golden crust that we all know and love so dearly.

Photo courtesy: thekitchn

Puff Pastry Production Process

There is an abundance of delectable dishes that use this culinary confection, but the first the dough must be made right. Yes, puff pastry is simple to make and is low-tech as one can get, but it is not an easy task by any means. Store-bought is a perfectly valid option for those without the time to bake, but making your own is extremely satisfying and we highly recommend it. Food always tastes better if you make it yourself!

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
10 tablespoons high-quality butter (5 ounces), cold
1/3 cup ice-cold water

Click here for full recipe and instructions. If you’re strapped for time, you can chill the dough for 30 mins instead of a full hour. There isn’t a noticeable difference and it will still come out absolutely amazing!

Photo courtesy: Saving Dessert

The Sweet Side of Puff Pastry

Whoever says you can’t start with dessert has certainly never tried these before! Make sure you don’t spoil your appetite with these bold and brazen blueberry puff pastry tarts and their delicious lemon frosting. An auspicious accompaniment to any meal, the tangy and light topping serves to balance out the fruity sweetness from the berries. They can be prepared beforehand or simply assembled on the spot, making it a great choice for dinner parties.

Puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon milk

Blueberry Sauce
1 cup wild frozen blueberries, mostly thawed or fresh
2 tablespoons honey

Lemon Cream
2 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup store-bought or homemade lemon curd

1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
powdered sugar for dusting

Click here for full recipe and instructions. Feel free to try other berries! We love using blackberries instead, it really brings out the best parts of this dish.

Photo courtesy: 3 Kids Recipes

The Savory Side of Puff Pastry

With holidays being right around the corner, it’s important to bring something to the table that everyone will enjoy. This spinach and ricotta puff pastry is sure to be a hit for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, the flavor is too amazing to deny. While puff pastry isn’t exactly known for its health benefits, the filling more than makes up for it Easy to make and simple to prepare, this our go-to dish this holiday season.

Puff pastry
25 g butter
1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
500 g spinach
A pinch of ground nutmeg
250 g ricotta
1 egg yolk
Grated parmesan
1 egg beaten

Click here for full recipe and instructions. If this isn’t completely cleaned out by the end of the night, not to worry! This dish still tastes absolutely amazing as leftovers.

Photo courtesy: Eat Well 101

Puff Pastry Makes Baking A Social Affair

Since the only thing this takes to make is time, it pays to get friends and family involved. Due to puff pastry’s simplicity, it helps those with little to no experience in the kitchen learn the basics of baking in a risk-free way. Working together towards a scrumptious goal that you both can enjoy brings you two closer together in a unique way, we highly recommend it for friends and family alike. Get social and enjoy what comes after as a team!

Photo courtesy: Eatwell 101

The Snacky Side of Puff Pastry

Dinners and desserts are all well and good, but what about appetizers? This ham, cheese, and spinach puff pastry is just the recipe to get any meal off to a great start. The dish is deceptively simple to make and takes relatively little time to bake. Pleasing to look at and even better to eat, these bite-sized joys are a real treat!

2 sheets puff pastry
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup warm milk
1 pinch of salt
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Ground nutmeg (optional)
1/2 lb cooked ham, diced
2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped
1 cup Swiss cheese, grated

Click here for full recipe and instructions. Try mixing egg whites with the cheese and replace the ham with tomatoes for a delicious breakfast. It makes a satisfying start to any day!

Photo courtesy: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Plan Ahead With Puff Pastry

Since preparing this dish is a tad time consuming, we recommend saving some for later. Puff pastry keeps for a long time, so make sure to stock up! By making extra and keeping it in the freezer, you’ll have homemade puff pastry whenever you need it. As any experienced cooks could tell you, a little planning goes a long way with any dish.

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