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My recipe for Pâte Feuilletée yields four portions of pastry-here are 4 creative ways to use it! Because you can make it sweet or savory, this a great pastry to have on hand!
This classic showcases just how high the pastry can puff! It looks very impressive and the best part? Assembling is super simple!
Start with a portion of pastry rolled out to 12 x 16”. Cut out 12 – 2.75” rounds with a biscuit cutter. Try to press directly down, not in a twisting motion (this will pinch the layers prevent it from puffing to it’s full potential!). With a 1.75” biscuit cutter, gently press into the center of the first 6 rounds (just enough pressure to make an indentation).
Continue with the remaining 6, but cut through completely. Brush the outline of the first round with an egg wash (one egg + a splash of water or cream) and stack the second round on top. Egg wash the tops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes at 350ºF.
Once baked, gently remove the lid with a paring knife and fill as desired.
For a contrasting texture, you can caramelize a full sheet of puff pastry. A Mille-Feuille is a classic dessert made from three extra crispy pieces of pastry filled with pastry cream and fresh berries.
To caramelize the dough, roll out one portion to 12 x 16” and sandwich between two sheets of parchment paper. Place on a half sheet tray, then cover with another sheet tray and bake 30-45 minutes at 350ºF, until evenly golden.
Check the pastry every five minutes after you have reached the 30 minute mark. You want the entire surface to be an even, golden color and delicately crisp.
Carefully transfer the sheet to a rack and cool to room temperature. With a sharp serrated knife, cut into 2 x 5” rectangles. To assemble, place raspberries on the bottom sheet. Pipe pastry cream between the raspberries and down the center. Place another sheet on top and repeat.
This is an impressive, delicious, and simple pastry! It’s a double crusted pie that has decorative scores on the top. The filling can be sweet or savory-these are my favorite savory ones: goat cheese and caramelize onions.
Begin with one portion rolled out to 12 x 16”. Cut 6 – 5.5” circles (I used one of my graduated measuring bowls) and lightly press a 3” ring in the center.
Spread 2 tablespoons of softened goat cheese (seasoned with salt and pepper) to the edges of the marked ring. Top with 2 tablespoons of caramelized onions. Egg wash the boarder (one egg + a splash of water or cream) and cover with the remaining round. Crimp the edges to seal. Egg wash the top, then score with the dull side of a paring knife. Bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF.
You can serve these warm or at room temperature.
Palmiers are sweet caramelized cookies that crisp and open up into heart shapes in the oven. I add pistachios for extra crunch and flavor.
Begin with one portion of pastry rolled out to 10 x 18”. Measure 100 grams of sugar and 50 grams of finely chopped pistachios. Sprinkle half of the mixture on top. Gently press into the dough with a rolling pin.
Bring the long edges of the pastry to the center and lightly press down to secure. Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture on top and bring the top edge down.
Wrap in plastic and freeze for one hour. Slice into 1/2” pieces and lay flat on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave space for the cookies to spread out! Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350ºF, until golden.
Keep your pastry scraps! Because puff pastry is all about the 729 layers of butter that were carefully rolled out, stack the scraps together. Do not roll the scraps into a ball! Stacking the scraps will ensure that the layers stay intact as much as possible.
When you are ready to use the (well chilled) scraps, gather together and press down with a rolling pin. Roll out to about 1/8” thick. Use as desired!