Puff Pastry Recipes
French Appetizers, Tarts and Desserts

Puff pastry recipes are very popular in France these days. I think part of the reason is that we can buy high quality puff pastry in rolls at the grocery store and it is not at all expensive.

Making your own puff pastry, or pâte feuilleté is possible, but many people will want to opt for the store bought option. It makes all of these recipes quick and easy ones. When buying a puff pastry, please look at the ingredients. The one I use here in France is made with butter and a small list of ingredients. If you buy a product with a long ingredient list and no butter, you're likely to wind up with a chemically tasting puff pastry.

Ideas for Puff Pastry Recipes

Appetizers. Puff pastry appetizers know no limit other then your imagination. In some cases you'll want to cook the filling before baking it in the puff pastry, but lots of times you can just use an uncooked filling. Try smoked salmon, goat cheese, or tapenade and don't forget to include a few fresh herbs. This baked brie recipe is a divine example of a puff pastry appetizer.

Twisty Crackers. These are so much tastier then what you can buy in a box. Roll out the puff pastry and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of your favorite grated cheese. If you want to go French try beaufort, emmental, or gruyère, but a quality cheddar or parmesan would be equally delicious. Push the cheese down into the pastry with a rolling pin. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into about 1/2 inch by 4 inch strips. Twist each strip into a spiral and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes. *

Leftovers. Many times you can successfully garnish puff pastry with last night's dinner. Cut rounds from the puff pastry, then in the center place a few tablespoons of leftover ratatouille or whatever you may have. You might like to add a sprinkle of cheese. Fold the puff pastry on itself and press and roll the edge to seal. Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes.

Viennoiseries. OK, these aren't going to rival what you find in a good French bakery, but they should please most people for a quick, warm breakfast. Cut the puff pastry in triangles and then spread with jam, Nutella, chestnut puree, or a piece of chocolate. Roll the triangle up and bake at 400°F for 12 minutes. Serve fresh from the oven.

Tarts. Here in France tarts are very popular, both savory and sweet. Any one of these easy quiche recipes would work fine with packaged puff pastry, and this munster quiche is one of my favorites. Leek tart is another. You could use a puff pastry in this upside down French apple tart or any sort of tarte tatin. It can also quickly be made into this magnificent King Cake recipe for a French-style Twelfth Night celebration.

Note that some recipes call for prebaking or blind baking the puff pastry. A good way to do this is to line your tart pan, prick it a bunch with the tines of a fork, and then freeze it for 20 minutes before putting it directly in the hot oven. This helps to keep it from slipping.

As you can see puff pastry recipes are truly versatile. By keeping a roll in the refrigerator, you can come up with an impromptu treat for your family or guests any time of the day.

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