You don't have to be an experienced pastry chef to make the kinds of light and flaky fruit pastries that tempt you at the bakery. Thanks to frozen puff pastry dough, the hard part is done for you; all that's left is for you to choose the fruit that goes inside. Here are 13 (aka a baker's dozen) impossibly easy fruit-filled puff pastry desserts even first-time bakers can make.
Puff Pastry Sheets
Easy, versatile, and convenient frozen puff pastry sheets can be sliced small to form bite-size desserts, sliced larger for turnovers and dumplings, or left whole for tarts. Whichever way you go, take a look at these top tips for working with frozen puff pastry to get the best results.
If you can slice apples and warm up some apricot jam, you can make these super-easy apple tarts. Be sure to slice the apples thinly so they get tender when they bake. You can make individual squares, or one big tart to share.
Here's another impossibly easy tartlet made with fresh peaches instead of apples. You could also substitute plums, nectarines, or pears.
For this one, you'll cook the apples for a few minutes before filling and sealing the pastry triangles. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper so your turnovers don't stick if a little filling seeps out.
The apples aren't precooked for this version, and you're making one big pastry instead of individual turnovers. You can cut slits into the top before baking to let the steam escape so the filling doesn't get too watery. Some reviewers went rogue and cooked the filling a bit before filling the pastry.
A cream cheese filling sweetened with sugar and made citrusy with lemon juice gives this cherry-filled strudel a tangy finish. You can use fresh or frozen cherries with delectable results.
Call it a tart or a galette or a topless pie. Whatever. This dessert is so simple, the submitter invented it in a hotel room kitchenette: A pile of spiced apple slices is mounded in the center of a puff pastry sheet, then the edges are folded up to form an edible pie plate. Bake it, cool it, slice it, devour it.
Can you handle one more version of apple-filled puff pastry? I hope so because you don't have to make thin apple slices for this one. Peeled and cored apple halves are wrapped in puff pastry squares with sugar-and-spice breadcrumbs, and baked until the apple inside is soft and tender.
Yes, croissants are usually a breakfast or brunch food, but who makes these rules anyway? Besides, this tempting treat is filled with hazelnut-chocolate spread and raspberry jam. Serve it warm with ice cream and see if anyone complains about breakfast for dessert.
Puff pastry, instant pudding, whipped topping, and fresh strawberries make up this shortcut version of a classic Napoleon. Drizzle with chocolate before serving, if you want to get extra fancy.
Puff Pastry Shells
You can purchase frozen puff pastry cut into rounds with a hollow center that's just begging to be filled with all sorts of sweet ideas. They're usually pricier than puff pastry sheets, but the wow factor might be worth it if you're making desserts for a special occasion. It is possible to to turn a flat sheet of frozen puff pastry dough into individual puff pastry shells, as Chef John demonstrates in this video.
Sweetened cream cheese and sliced strawberries are spooned into baked puff pastry shells to make picture-perfect individual desserts. Can you substitute other fruit and maybe garnish with mint leaves or edible flowers? Why, yes. Yes you can.
So fancy yet so simple. Store-bought or homemade lemon curd is spooned into pastry shells and topped with fresh blackberries. Done.
Sweetened cream cheese and blackberries (fresh or frozen) are baked in pastry shells to make these bite-sized lovelies.
The recipe direction says to remove the kiwi seeds, but reviewers went ahead and left them in. The world didn't end, and the desserts turned out beautifully. See how that works?