Even though I may know how to make puff pastry from scratch (and if you want a tutorial, Gourmet Live is ready to help you), I have no qualms admitting that a package of frozen puff pastry is always in my freezer. There’s nothing like it to spiff up a meal with the greatest of ease. For me, it’s been the single most wonderful product to become available in supermarkets. I love the stuff!
Why? Just look at the photo above. Bring a platter of these eye candy dandies to the table and you’ll feel like an instant rock star pastry chef.
And talk about simple! You just thaw the ready-made pastry, unfold it (you don’t even have to roll it out further), then cut out squares—this recipe is one case where you do want to use a knife, not a pastry or pizza wheel, as Chef Michelle Tampakis recommends in tip #6 in Gourmet Live—and bake them. They puff by themselves in a hot oven.
Meanwhile, the filling is simply crème fraiche sweetened with sugar —you could use honey or maple syrup instead—and if you don’t have crème fraiche, use mascarpone cheese, or whip some heavy cream. Split the baked squares and fill them with the cream and any berries you find, and you’ve got some showstoppers that will never fail to impress your guests. You really are being honest when you say, “Oh, they’re a cinch to make.” Continue reading
A beautiful thing happens when flour is cut with fat: the pastry is born, and with it, a variable array of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The tart, marked by its crisp, crimped edges, is often reinterpreted. Fold the crust free of form and it becomes a galette, or build it top to bottom for an upside-down tarte tatin. Each remains a buttery vessel for showcasing fresh fruits, savory vegetables, or rich cheeses. Crumbs will fall.
- Yummy Supper’s Spinach Galette with Wild Mushrooms amplifies the earthiness of fresh mushrooms and peppery spinach with a heaping cup of salty Parmesan (pictured above).
- Cook Republic’s Sour Cream Tart tops a thick layer of creamy, tangy ricotta and sour cream with roasted eggplant, sweet potato, and Spanish onion for a savory twist on the custard-filled pastry.
- Willow Bird Baking’s Sweet Potato and Chorizo Hand Tarts combines smoky sausage, cumin-scented black beans, and sweet potatoes in a savory, adult-friendly take on Pop Tarts.
- With a little mustard and a lot of butter, Delicious Shot pulls off a unique crust that can stand up to the richness of her Onion and Goat Cheese Tart.
- An Edible Mosaic’s Belgian Endive Tarte Tatin finds this bitter-turned-caramelized chicory playing a game of hide and seek under a blanket of puff pastry.
- Feasting at Home grabs the poppy seeds and ditches the cookie-cutter tart shell for a Rustic Strawberry Galette with Seeded Rye Crust brimming with ripe, red berries and a bit of balsamic vinegar.
- Drizzle and Dip’s Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart oozes gooey caramel sauce beneath a thick layer of honey-scented chocolate ganache.