So I was having people over for the Liberty Cafe Chicken Pot Pie recipe from the SF Chronicle. (Those who want the recipe, check their archives, I think it's in there). But that's not what this thread is about. It's about puff pastry.
I'm a pastry snob, and I admit it. I like pastry of various kinds, and in various forms, so I often make it myself. Yes, even the labor-intensive puff pastry. Formerly, I'd never tasted any purchased puff pastry that got close to mine (outside of France, that is). Even the fanciest purchased hors douevres, and creations at expensively-catered events, couldn't match the flavor and texture of the freshly made homemade pastry from my kitchen.
Back to the pot pies -- the Liberty Cafe recipe says to use purchased puff pastry. I usually make my own puff instead, and take it from there, but I ran out of time before the guests came, so I took a chance and purchased the only puff pastry brand available at Whole Foods (I'm posting this on the General Board, in case other WF's around the country carry this product.). It's a frozen, 14 ounce, foil-pan container, with a lift-off cardboard lid, covered in clear shrinkwrap. The brand is Dufour, and the label reads: "Classic Puff Pastry, Made with the Finest Churned Sweet Butter". The testimonials underneath read "One of the best sources for top-quality puff pastry" - The New York Times (!)
"The most buttery and flaky pastry you will ever find" - Details Magazine.
Ingredients: USDA grade AA butter, unbleached flour, water, salt, lemon juice.
Keep puff pastry dough frozen. Defrost in refrigerator 2-3 hours before using to prepare your favorite recipes.
WHOA Paradigm shift. I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever slave over the multiple "turns" of making puff pastry again! Wow, this is unbelievably good puff pastry. Rolled out like a dream, baked like a champ, browned gorgeously under a brush of cream, OH YEAH. Really really good puff pastry -- there is some elusive flavor to it that's not present in any other puff I've tried before -- it could be the lemon juice? I've used lemon in puff pastry before -- but this Dufour is so much better. I urge anyone who's making a dessert or entree involving puff to buy this, if you can get your hands on it (it's also not cheap -- I think $8.50 for 14 ounces). Golly it's good. I was lauded by my guests as I never had been for my homemade stuff (one tries to save one's ego -- but the salve is the EASE and QUICKNESS of using frozen). I can't say enough about how good this stuff is.
I wonder if they get better butter than I do? I use Strauss (a Bay Area super-organic, happy frolicking cows, way-expensive local brand) most of the time -- is that considered Grade A or Grade AA? I couldn't find a grading on the package. Does anyone know if Grade AA is available to the non-chef consumer?
The address at the bottom of the label saays "25 Ninth Ave, New York, NY". Hmmmm, a pilgrimage?