I'll be the first to admit that I've never made my own puff pastry. And if you have, I commend you. Time and time again, the likes of Jus Rol or supermarket alternatives have come to my pastry related rescue. I have no problem getting involved with my old friend shortcrust, especially if I want to add crushed pistachios or chocolate to the mixture, or try my hand at vegan and gluten free pastry.
But if I'm looking for a quick fix for a weeknight recipe or maybe something special, I'm not ashamed to roll out the ready made and get creative. I went along to Ateliers des Chefs for an evening of pastry tips, tricks and most importantly... tasting. Our hosts for the evening were professional chefs Mark Dodson and Sally Abe who were taking on the philosophy - jus create!
On the evening we made puff pastry pithiviers, treacle tarts with a custard base and heavenly chocolate and peanut tarts. It was a lovely chance to meet likeminded foodies whilst trying out some great recipes. The demonstrations were informative without being patronising and we learnt lots of helpful tips.
I asked if it was worth pricking pastry before going in the oven, even if using baking beans. The answer is yes, to avoid the pastry holding air and bubbling up. Myth = busted.
It sounds simple but learning the basics of perfect pastry rolling, blind baking and techniques such as latticing make for sure fire pastry success. No soggy bottoms around here!
What are your favourite shortcrust pastry or puff pastry recipes? Do you make your own?
Even Mary Berry admits to not making her own puff pastry, so it's basically baking gospel.
I was invited by Jus Rol to attend their event. Delicious recipe courtesy of Jus Rol.