After mock porchetta, why not faux puff pastry? And really, there’s nothing faux about this recipe. It’s the best flaky tart crust I know of – rich and shattering, easy to make, and very versatile. I always keep a well-wrapped piece in the freezer, and for a last-minute dinner, a surprisingly elegant savory tart is always welcome.
If you’ve made classic French puff pastry, you know that it’s an exercise in patience. Not difficult to execute, but the butter must be the correct temperature, and the dough has to chill thoroughly between each turn. And very rarely am I that patient. What’s so special about this recipe is its incredible flakiness: it’s hard to imagine working that much harder for the same results. And – only one chilling is needed. Make it in the morning, or make it the day before, so that the dough has plenty of time to get very cold. Don’t rush the chilling, and you’ll be rewarded.
And I have a secret technique, which I will share with you. Ok, well, it’s not a secret, but I’ve never seen it as part of recipe instructions. You don’t need to roll out the dough when making turns and folds – gather the dough in your bowl, and press it out with the heel of your hand. Make a rough rectangle, not too thin. Fold the dough in thirds, press out again, and repeat twice more. Then chill – and you’re done. And if (as above) you cut the dough, you’ll see that your folds have made innumerable layers – which results in flakiness when baked. Perfect.
Use this recipe for a Tart Tatin, a quiche or tart salé, or even, when cut into strips and seasoned, as cocktail snacks. However you plan to use it, roll very thinly, and bake it until well browned – baking a little longer than you think will guarantee that the deepest layers are cooked through. And once your tart or quiche is baked, serve it as soon as possible – the best texture just doesn’t wait around.Recipe: Very Flaky Faux Puff Pastry I recipes makes 3 11″ round tart crusts or 2 large 16 x 12 tarts Sift together in a large mixing bowl 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp. baking powder. Add 2 sticks/8 oz. very cold butter, cut into small pieces. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour, resulting in large flakes. This can also be done in the food processor. Then stir in 1/2 cup or 4 oz. thick greek yogurt, crème fraîche or sour cream. Gather the dough together, and fold and turn as described above. Do this about three times in total. Wrap the dough and chill for a few hours, or cut into 2-3 pieces and freeze if not using in 24 hours.