If you've ever made puff pastry from scratch, you know how difficult it can be -- there are layers and layers of butter sandwiched between sheets of dough that you have to keep rolling in different directions to get just right, otherwise the pastry won't rise or bake properly. But forget about all of that, because the frozen puff pastry you buy in the supermarket is just as good -- it's a blessing for chefs and home cooks because it cuts down on time and even frustration.
There are many ways you can use puff pastry in the kitchen -- it's not just for fancy French desserts like vol-au-vent. Puff pastry can be used in place of regular (shortcrust) pastry doughs in sweet tarts, savory tarts, quiches and pot pies. You can also create bakery-quality treats like palmier and cheese straws that will have everyone thinking you're an expert baker. Don't knock frozen puff pastry until you've tried it -- you'll see how much your baking will benefit. See the slideshow of recipes below for ideas.