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Best Puff Pastry to purchase?

Tom P Sep 15, 2011 11:12 AM

I am curious what people like. I always buy Pepperidge Farm, which I like, though it can be a bit soggy on the bottom at times. (Any ideas?)

I tried the Trader Joe's version but did not like it. Was there a Whole Foods version (or product there) that people liked better? or?

thanks!

  1. dave_c Sep 15, 2011 11:27 AM

    I've had good luck with Pepperidge Farm.

    What are you making that gives you soggy results?
    Maybe you can bush a light egg wash on the bottom or bake in a hot, preheated oven.

    If you want to tackle making your own puff pastry, it's pretty simple and fun but a little time consuming, I followed the instructions in this Julia Child video and got good results too. Also, I enjoy watching Julia.
    http://video.pbs.org/video/1174110297

    1. chowser Sep 15, 2011 12:31 PM

      Why didn't you like TJ's? It's my favorite for the price (and they only use ingredients I'd use at home). You can buy Dufour at WH which is good but far more expensive.

      http://www.dufourpastrykitchens.com/

      1. pikawicca Sep 15, 2011 12:44 PM

        Dufour is expensive, but excellent -- as good as first-rate home made, and made with butter, so it tastes the way puff pastry should.

        3 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca
          h
          harryharry Sep 15, 2011 12:46 PM

          Most definitely Dufour - well worth the price difference.

          1. re: pikawicca
            Caitlin McGrath Sep 15, 2011 01:03 PM

            Dufour is definitely the best I have used. Each time, even with very simple preps, people rave about the buttery pastry.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
              t
              thimes Sep 15, 2011 01:57 PM

              +1

              but making your own is kind of fun if you have the time and inclination

          2. paulj Sep 15, 2011 12:47 PM

            'Soggy on the bottom' probably has more to do with baking conditions than the dough itself (e.g. baking sheet, oven temperature, filling that compresses the dough).

            My complaint with Pepperidge Farm is the choice of shortening. The main alternative to butter is a hydrogenated shortening that has a high melting point. To me tastes like a coating on the roof of my mouth, like that I get with lamb fat.

            I like the taste of Trader Joe's because it uses butter. I have not tried the much more expensive brands.

            2 Replies
            1. re: paulj
              r
              Reposado Sep 15, 2011 02:08 PM

              The problem with TJ's, at least in the NY metro area, is that it is available only around the holidays, so you have to stock up then.

              1. re: Reposado
                paulj Sep 15, 2011 02:52 PM

                Yes, I was a little surprised to see a good stack of them at my TJs this week.

            2. Tom P Sep 15, 2011 02:51 PM

              Thanks everyone! I simply did not like the taste of TJ's as much as PF... maybe I missed the preservatives, Choswer and Paul ! :)

              Dave and Paul... not sure the problem. I repeatedly make these tarts from Suzanne Goin's SUNDAY SUPPERS book that are wonderful. You roll out the pastry, score it, egg wash the sides, and the tart starts with a light layer of creme fraiche with a few additions, then you add toppings. It is cook on a cookie sheet, with parchment between the cookie sheet and the puff pastry. Sometimes when everything is done, and it really needs to come out of the oven, the pastry in the middle still is a little undercooked and soft.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Tom P
                chowser Sep 15, 2011 03:19 PM

                That sounds good. Can you post the recipe? My biggest problem w/ TJ's is that it's on the sweet side (besides as paulj says it's seasonal, though available now).

                Do you roll the pastry? That can make a difference in cooking. You can also partially bake it.

                Dufour is great, and I splurge and buy it on special occasions but it's hard for me to justify paying that much for an every day meal.

                1. re: chowser
                  paulj Sep 15, 2011 03:50 PM

                  I didn't notice any sweetness in the TJ puff pastry. I've used it for cheese sticks, pot pie topping, and a savory sweet potato tart. But I don't have a box in the freezer to check the ingredients list. It shouldn't have sugar.

                  1. re: paulj
                    chowser Sep 15, 2011 03:56 PM

                    It does. I have boxes in the freezer. It's not obivously sweet but it is a sweet contrast for dinner savories.

                    http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/ba...

                  2. re: chowser
                    Tom P Sep 17, 2011 09:56 AM

                    Chowser, here is the recipe. You can pretty much put anything on top, once you've prepped the pastry and smoothed on the ricotta/creme fraiche base. I do various versions, all good. But this one is wonderful. Another in her book uses swiss chard for a veggie version.

                    http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/young-...

                    1. re: Tom P
                      chowser Sep 17, 2011 12:53 PM

                      That looks simple but sounds delicious--my favorite combination!

                  3. re: Tom P
                    pikawicca Sep 17, 2011 02:33 PM

                    Could you try preheating the baking sheet lined with parchment, prepping the tarts on another surface and transferring them to the hot baking sheet with a spatula? I think this might solve the soggy in the middle problem.

                    1. re: pikawicca
                      hotoynoodle Sep 17, 2011 02:49 PM

                      op may also be scoring the pastry too deeply, letting the filling ooze, or not cooking the tarts long enough.

                  4. a
                    alysonlaurel Sep 15, 2011 02:54 PM

                    Dufour, for sure. Also, I've found that the Fresh Direct brand is good, too.

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