Puff Pastry Shells

by Michael Brisson

Flaky puff pastry tart shells can be baked a day ahead and stored in airtight containers. You’ll find the dough at the grocery.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 sheet (½ 17-ounce box) frozen Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (thawed in refrigerator for 2 hours or on counter for 40 minutes)
  • ½ cup (3 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate
Puff Pastry Shells

Susie Middleton

Heat the oven to 400°F. Whisk together the egg and 2 Tbs. of water in a small bowl and set aside. Lightly flour a work surface. Unfold the sheet of puff pastry as gently as possible. It should be fully thawed (but not warm), or it will crack along the creases. If it does crack, wait until the pastry warms a bit and pinch the dough together with your fingers to repair the cracks. Dust the dough very lightly with flour on both sides. Using a ruler, cut the sheet of puff pastry into four evenly sized rectangles with straight edges. Alternatively, you can use a small pot lid or large can to make 4 circles. Arrange the puff pastry on a heavy-duty cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the circles with the egg wash, and put the pan in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill slightly.

Using a ruler, lightly score (but don’t cut through) the puff pastry ½-inch in from the outer edge on all sides. (You will be drawing a rectangle or circle slightly smaller than the original piece.) Bake the puff pastry until it is risen and a deep golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Let the pastry cool on the baking sheet. Use a small knife to trim around the inner rectangle or circle and remove the top layer of puff pastry. Gently pull away a few layers of the pastry to make a hole.

Melt the chocolate in a microwave for 15 seconds or in a small saucepan over very low heat. Stir to smooth. Brush the chocolate on the bottom of the inside of the baked puff pastry. Set the puff pastry aside in a cool place. Do not refrigerate.

Yields 4 tart shells