Puff pastry. To thaw or not to thaw. That is one of the questions.

I am making a recipe that calls for frozen puff pastry. The directions say to cut the frozen pastry and then put the toppings on it. I have only seen recipes which tell you to defrost the pastry in the refrigerator overnight. Has anyone ever used puff pastry frozen? I was going with the recipe, and now I am second guessing myself. I know that I cannot assemble the tart now and then wait to bake it when our guests are here, because the pastry will lose its flakiness. I am hoping that I can bake it now, and then reheat it later. I realize that I needed to think about this much earlier. Our guests are arriving in 1 hour and 45 minutes. What was I thinking? Much thanks!

bella s.f.


boulangere October 15, 2011
Puff pastry thaws very quickly, which is likely why your recipe has you do the assembly with it frozen. Try this: go ahead and assemble your tarts. Work quickly, then set them in the fridge. That will keep them good and chilled, as you are correct that you don't want to let it come to room temp before you bake it. Don't pre-bake and reheat, as the pastry will toughen. Pop them in the oven as your guests are arriving and someone else (right?) is taking coats and pouring drinks. Have a lovely evening!
bella S. October 15, 2011
Thank you so much, Boulangere. I am going to throw it together now. I thought that I had picked a really easy meal to make tonight. Somehow it got complicated quickly. After I get the tart together I am going to start slicing squash for a gratin. I have a feeling that I will still be doing that when our friends get here. We are having our Indian summer (actually our only summer) here in the San Francisco Bay area, so no coats to be hung. Wine will definitely be in the glasses shortly after saying "Hello". Thanks again for your quick response.
boulangere October 15, 2011
Wow, I just talked to my sister who was driving back "up north" after the weekend in SF for a medical conference. She said temps were in the 90s. I remember that so well about living there- how the gift of those great, high temperatures would settle in. Your meal sounds as easy as you thought it would be, and we'd love to hear how it all turned out for you. Please post that puff pastry tart recipe if you, as I'm sure you did, customized it in some interesting way. It sounds great for holiday appetizers!
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