I'm fairly comfortable making pie crust, pizza dough, biscuits and the like, but the thought of constructing all of these little layers kind of makes me want to sprint to the frozen foods section of the Publix up the street and just pay the $4 for a package of it.
But on a recent Saturday I had some time on my hands and thought, why the heck not? I didn't inform the hubby of my endeavor so that if flopped I wouldn't have anyone to explain it to anyone.
However the pastry turned out to be so much easier than I could have ever imagined. No, really. Yes, it takes a bit of time, but it took much less time and effort than I was expecting. And boy was it worth it. I've never had frozen puff pastry so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I will say that each of those buttery, flakey layers was just divine. And I must admit that I certainly ate more of those said layers than I probably should have. Whoops.
You can use this puff pastry for quite a variety of delicacies, but I chose top little squares of mine with fresh peaches, honey and brown sugar for a tart. Yes please!
4 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled
1 C ice cold water
Sift flour and salt together into bowl of food processor fitted with dough blade attachment. Add chilled, diced butter and pulse several times until butter is about the size of lima beans.
Cube the buttah
Add water and pulse again between 3 and 5 times.
Turn dough onto well floured surface. Use rolling pins and hands to shape dough into rectangle. Using bench scraper, fold 1/3 of rectangle towards center, then flip the other side towards the center (like you're folding a business letter).
Rotate dough 90 degrees, form into rectangle again and repeat process. Do this a total of four times.
If dough becomes warm at any point in this process place in fridge to chill.
*For more pictures of this process hop over to Not Without Salt (linked above). She has an a-mazing tutorial with step by step photos that were immensely helpful in the process*
Place dough in fridge for minimum of 45 minutes to firm up.
Return dough to well floured surface and press sides of dough to seal its shape. Repeat folding process two more times for a total of six times.
Re-wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge to ensure it is well chilled before baking. Dough can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for several months.
To make the peach tarts shown here I simply tossed freshly cut peach slices with honey and cinnamon, spread them evenly across a piece of puff pastry dough and then topped each of them with a generous spoonful of brown sugar. Bake at 400 degrees until puffed and golden.
Word to the wise: add a bit more brown sugar than is pictured
above. You won't regret it!
Layers of buttery, flakey goodness