Friday, August 28, 2015

Sweet Shortcuts - Easy Puff Pastry Shells

My friend has been telling me for years how easy frozen puff pastry is to work with, and how you can dock the dough (poke holes in it) to let part of it puff and part of it stay flat.  I was always too nervous to try, but today, I'm happy to say that I made puff pastry shells, and they were so easy!



This recipe yields nine shells, and here's how you do it (make sure to read the note at the end regarding how long they stay fresh):


- Defrost one sheet of puff pastry, following the directions on your package.

- When you're ready to proceed, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

- Lay the pastry sheet on your cutting board, and cut the pastry sheet on the seams into three strips:



- Then cut each strip into three squares (I was not very precise, because I like the rustic look, but if you want perfect squares, feel free to break out that ruler!):



- With a sharp knife, score a smaller square inside the borders of your puff pastry piece.  Make sure that the corners are well scored:


- Next, take a fork and poke holes inside of your scored square:


- Repeat on all of the squares, and bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the squares are golden brown and puffy.



- Cool them on a rack until they're not too hot to handle, and gently retrace the score marks with your sharp knife.  Gently lift off the inner squares (you can keep them to top off your final creation):


Aren't they gorgeous?!  Now you can fill them any way you want - with ice cream, pastry cream, chocolate mousse, or go the savory route and fill them with spinach and cheese.

It's also really easy to play with the sizes and shapes…wouldn't a big round shell filled with pastry cream and strawberries be fantastic?

With my shells, I spread a thin layer of vanilla pudding (my cheat version of pastry cream) and then poured my easy chocolate ganache over that.  I refrigerated the shell for a few minutes to let the ganache firm up, then added whipped cream, and topped it with the cut out pastry square:


They were SO good - they tasted like Napoleons, but were so much easier to make!

Note: these shells do not stay light and crispy for very long - they should be eaten the same day they are made.  Do not refrigerate them, because it can make them soggy, but if you want to freeze them, store them in plastic containers (not plastic bags) and freeze for 5 or 6 days.

- Sugar Baby

3 comments:

  1. Anne I've had frozen puff pastry in my freezer for... oh geez, a year?? i hope it's still ok. i really want to try working with it! ^__^ these look delicious - and yum, like a napoleon? count me in!! :)

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    1. Same! Every time I would open my freezer, I would see it! :-)

      I think you'll really love how easy they are to make, and how you can make any size or shape.

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