How to Use and Make Rough Puff Pastry

I’m sure the thought of making your puff pastry is enough to make you go out and buy a pack of puff pastry. I liken puff pastry to bread; people confuse time-consuming with difficult but actually both puff pastry and bread are simple to make, each with a few caveats. If you’re daunted by puff pastry, follow my instructions below for guaranteed puff every time.

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This is a shortcut puff pastry, no slabs of butter are to be seen. The basic recipe is equal amounts of fat to flour but my recipe uses about 60% of fat to flour which means this is a lot healthier than most other puff pastries whilst still getting that flakiness. Even so, the method of folding and turning the dough remains the same.

Now I do use 750g plain flour here and this is enough to make about 1.6kg of puff pastry and that’s because I store the puff pastry in the freezer once it’s made so that I have it ready to go when I ever fancy making an instant puff pastry tart. The easiest way to defrost the pastry in overnight in the fridge as it keeps the fat cold and your layers defined.


750g plain flour

250g lard, cut into 1cm cubes

500g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes

1 tsp salt dissolved in about 400ml ice cold water


Place the flour into a large bowl and add the lard and butter cubes. Toss the fat in the flour so that the fat is completely coated in the flour and is evenly distributed.

Using one hand, bring the pastry together by adding all but 4 tablespoons of the water, making sure you don’t overwork the dough and that at this stage the fat is still in lumps.

Flour the work surface well and roll out the pastry into a rectangle twice as long than wide. Fold the bottom third upwards and the top third downwards. Rotate 90° and repeat the same process. These are the first 2 folds. Wrap the pastry up in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Repeat this process 2 more times so that in total you have fold the pastry 6 times. Do not do anymore than 2 folds each time or the fat may start to melt and the definition of the layers is lost. After the final turn, wrap tightly in clingfilm and freeze until required.

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This puff pastry can be used in replacement of any puff pastry. You can make vol-au-vents, turnovers, tarts or pie toppings, this pastry is incredibly versatile. Here are 9 recipes that I would use this puff pastry for:

Chorizo, Red Pepper, Caramelised Onion and Goat Cheese Quick Tart

Take 350g of the puff pastry and roll out to the size of your baking tray. Use a table knife to mark a 2cm border and then prick the inside with a fork. Using caramelised onion and peppers from a jar, lay them all over the base of the pastry, cover with slices of pre-cooked chorizo, sprinkle over an even layer of goat’s cheese and bake at 200°C for 25 minutes until the pastry is browned.

Cheat’s Chicken Pot Pie (picture courtesy of http://www.nigella.com)

Nigella Chicken Pie

Panfry some bacon strips and set aside. Brown some chicken thigh in the same pan and then add frozen peas, chopped tinned carrots and potatoes and some chicken stock. Add a jar of white pasta sauce, dried herbs and seasoning and reduce until the chicken is completely coated. Bake puff pastry discs at 200°C until they are golden and serve on top of the chicken mixture.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Feta Vol-au-Vents

Roll out 300g of the pastry to 4mm thickness and cut out 7cm circles. Using a 6cm cutter, lightly press the discs to mark out lids and score a lattice on the lids. Dock in 4 places with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C and then remove the lids. Cool on a wire rack. Then fill with butternut squash that has been roasted with olive oil, garlic, rosemary and thyme and top with feta, a few rocket leaves and toasted pine nuts.

Mediterranean Vol-au-Vents (picture courtesy of Ruby Tandoh)

ruby courgette and stilton tart

Roll out 300g of the pastry to 4mm thickness and cut out 7cm circles. Using a 6cm cutter, lightly press the discs to mark out lids and score a lattice on the lids. Dock in 4 places with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C and then remove the lids. Cool on a wire rack. Season goat’s cheese and add fresh chopped mint and lemon, top with roasted cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. You can top with other roasted vegetables as well!

Pea and Ham Vol-au-Vents

Roll out 300g of the pastry to 4mm thickness and cut out 7cm circles. Using a 6cm cutter, lightly press the discs to mark out lids and score a lattice on the lids. Dock in 4 places with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C and then remove the lids. Cool on a wire rack. Make a quick pea puree by boiling frozen peas until cooked, drain, season, add butter, grated parmesan and some vegetable stock if it’s too thick. Fill the cases with the puree and top with crispy prosciutto.

BLT Quick Tart (picture from Diana Henry)

Bacon Ricotta Tart

Take 350g of the puff pastry and roll out to the size of your baking tray. Use a table knife to mark a 2cm border and then prick the inside with a fork. Spread tomato chutney over the base of the tart, cover with strips of Parma ham, rocket and halved cherry tomatoes. Bake at 200°C for 25 minutes until the pastry is browned and finish with basil.

Rocket, Cream Cheese and Pomegranate Vol-au-Vents

Roll out 300g of the pastry to 4mm thickness and cut out 7cm circles. Using a 6cm cutter, lightly press the discs to mark out lids and score a lattice on the lids. Dock in 4 places with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C and then remove the lids. Cool on a wire rack. Season cream cheese and fold through the pomegranate seeds and rocket, fill the cases and top with crispy bacon if you aren’t vegetarian.

Slow Cooker Steak and Ale Pie (picture courtesy of http://www.bbc.co.uk)

Steak and Ale Pie

Coat braising steak in seasoned flour and sear the meat until it is browned on all sides. Place into the slow cooker. In the same pan, cook chopped onion, garlic, carrot, celery and leeks. Once softened, add tomato puree, wholegrain mustard, flour and once it is mixed through, add ale and stock. Taste and season as required and transfer to the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours, depending on what temperature you put your slow cooker on. Bake puff pastry discs at 200°C until they are golden and serve on top of the stew.

Instant Tarte aux Pommes

Instant Tartes Aux Pommes 2

You can find the post by clicking here.

Thanks to Vicki for helping me come up with some of the recipes!

I’m taking part in a food blogger challenge; click here to find out more

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5 thoughts on “How to Use and Make Rough Puff Pastry

  1. Pingback: Mince Pie Pinwheels | Andrew in the Kitchen

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