Pre-baking Puff Pastry

 I try to have in my cupboard pre-baked puff pastry so that I can whip up a delicious, simple dessert with the season’s best fruit.  



Two pieces 13.5-inch X 11.5-inch (34X30 cm)


1 package (500 grams) good quality frozen puff pastry

About 1/2 cup or more coarsely ground almonds (optional) 



Take the frozen pastry out of the freezer and let on the counter for about 20 minutes, just to soften somewhat, but not completely.


Preheat the oven to 200 C (375 F). 



Line a baking dish with parchment paper, and if you like, sprinkle with half the almonds.  Carefully unroll the pastry but still hold it with the plastic it is rolled with, as you lay it carefully on the parchment-lined baking sheet, then unpeel and discard the plastic. 


Place a sheet of parchment paper over the pastry and gently press with your palms to even it and help the almonds stick to the bottom of the pastry. If you like, sprinkle more almonds on top of the pastry, before covering with the paper.  


Cover with a baking sheet that fit right on top of the parchment-topped pastry and place the two baking sheets in the middle of the heated oven.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes of more, until the puff pastry is golden brown and fully baked. 


Uncover and let cool, then cut in half and use as base and/or a layer to make seasonal fruit or pastry cream sweets in minutes.


STORAGE: When completely cold, wrap the baked pastry in parchment paper, and keep in a cupboard, sealed in a plastic bag. Keeps for a month or more.






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