The Best Puff Pastry, According to Our Test Kitchen
Store-bought puff pastry is one of our favorite shortcut ingredients in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, especially for holidays and special occasions, when we use it for making baked Brie, cheese twists, savory tarts like this Celeriac, Gruyère & Potato Tart, desserts like these pretty Almond & Rose Pear Tarts and more. After we included puff pastry in our roundup of 6 Holiday Foods Our Test Kitchen Doesn’t Bother Making From Scratch, one reader wrote to ask if we have a brand recommendation—and the answer is, yes we do! In fact we have three top picks.
Best Puff Pastry
Best Frozen Puff Pastry: Dufour
Unlike some other brands, Dufour Pastry Kitchen’s Classic Puff Pastry is made with real butter, which gives it a wonderful flavor and texture that’s very much like true French puff pastry. “It’s easy to work with and awfully close to homemade,” says EatingWell Test Kitchen manager Breana Killeen. You can buy it in the frozen section of many grocery stores. (It's also available for $9 from Whole Foods Market on Amazon.)
Best Refrigerated Puff Pastry: Wewalka
Wewalka Puff Pastry, which can be found in the refrigerator case in large grocery stores (rather than the freezer), is the top choice for EatingWell recipe developer Carolyn Casner, who developed this Spring Vegetable Tart recipe—along with many, many more EatingWell recipes. She says it is easier to work with and flakier than other brands—plus you don’t have to remember to defrost it. It’s also a good choice if you prefer a puff pastry made with oil rather than butter.
Best Gluten-Free Puff Pastry: Schär
EatingWell’s resident expert on all things gluten-free, senior food editor Devon O’Brien, swears by Schär Gluten-Free Puff Pastry Dough. “It has a more traditional texture than other gluten-free puff pastry I've tried—it has more light, flaky layers compared to some that are more like a pie crust or rough puff pastry,” she says. I tried a batch of the aforementioned rose tarts with the Schär pastry and they were delicious—I would have never known they were gluten-free if I hadn’t been told. Look for this brand in the frozen foods section of major grocery stores.
Don’t see a brand you can find on our list? While these three are our favorites, you really can’t go wrong with any brand of puff pastry you can find. “If you are looking for the healthiest option, check the ingredient list and go for brands that skip the hydrogenated fats and have the least amount of added sugars,” says EatingWell senior digital editor Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D. As for the flavor and texture part of the equation, I know I’ve never turned down a wedge of baked Brie or a slice of a tart because of the brand of puff pastry it was made with—and neither should you!