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Everything You Should Know About Pastry

Uses of Puff Paste

Puff paste is usually used for dainty desserts commonly known as French pastry. It is seldom used in the making of single or double-crust pies. However, there are really innumerable uses to which it may be put in addition to those for which ordinary pastry can be used. In fact, after the art of making this kind of pastry is mastered, it will prove to be invaluable for serving on special occasions.

Tarts of any kind or shape may be made with puff paste. Particularly attractive tarts can be made by covering small tins and then, after the shapes have been baked, filling each one with half of a peach or half of an apricot and juice that has boiled thick and piling sweetened whipped cream over it.

Puff paste made into the same shapes as those just mentioned for tarts may have placed in it a layer of cake, on top of which may be spread a layer of jam; and, to add a dainty touch, either whipped cream or chopped nuts may be put over the jam. The cake used for such a dessert should preferably be simple butter cake or sponge cake, such as might be baked in a loaf.

Puff paste in the form of tubes and shells may be used for serving foods daintily. Thus, a hollow tube may be made by rolling the paste very thin, cutting it into rectangular pieces, placing each piece over a round stick about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, and then baking. After the baked tube is slipped off the stick, it may be filled with sweetened and flavored whipped cream, to which may be added chopped nuts, chopped fruit, or jam. Small baked shells of puff paste can be used as timbale cases, which may be filled with creamed mushrooms, creamed sweetbreads, or other delicate creamed food. If shells are not desired, small triangular or round pieces may be cut and baked and creamed food served over them as it would be served over toast.

An attractive dessert may be prepared by baking several rectangular pieces of puff paste in the oven and then arranging them in two or three layers with custard between. Simple sugar icings into which some butter is beaten may also be utilized to advantage in making French pastry of this kind.

Puff paste may also be used as the covering for small individual pies.

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Essentials in the making of successful puff paste are a light touch and as little handling as possible. Heavy pressure with the rolling pin and rolling in the wrong direction are mistakes that result in an inferior product. The desirable light, tender qualities of puff paste can be obtained only by giving attention to these details.
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