Puff pastry is both rich and light, the moreish flaky texture achieved by combining equal quantities of fat and flour into dough that is meticulously rolled and folded many times to build up fine layers.
Cooks who prefer to make their own puff pastry will typically use pure butter, but commercial manufacturers use cheaper fats. Bought puff pastry therefore does not taste as rich as home-made, however it is still acceptable and convenient to use in many dishes.
Making your puff pastry is time-consuming, so it is worthwhile producing a large batch and storing the excess in the freezer ready for use another day.
Puff pastry is used to make vol au vents, sweet or savoury piecrusts, traditional French sweet pastries such as mille feuille and pithiviers. It is a classic ingredient of beef wellington, salmon en croûte and pâté en croûte.
Sprinkle the trimmings with cheese and seeds and bake to make cocktail snacks