Achieving the super-flaky, buttery layers of puff pastry requires a process called “turning,” in which the dough is wrapped around a butter square, rolled, and turned, then chilled between a sequence of turns. Sure, it’s worth the work if you’re making it yourself—but it’s also time-consuming and, some would argue, unnecessary when virtually every supermarket carries prepared puff pastry that works just as well in recipes like our Quick Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts.
Because the dough is frozen, however, it must be defrosted before you can use it; otherwise, it can crack and break apart. Our defrosting preference is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight, but countertop defrosting works fine too.
A two-step baking method—starting in a hot oven for lift and browning, then lowering the temp to dry out the shell for maximum sturdiness—made for a crust that was flaky yet rigid enough to hold our tarts’ toppings. But the tomatoes had a tendency to slide right off the crust. No problem—we found a quick and easy solution for a quick and easy recipe. We simply made our own raised edge by cutting a border around the baked pastry shell and then pressing down the center.
HOW TO MAKE QUICK TOMATO AND GOAT CHEESE TARTS
1. Using the tip of a paring knife cut a ½-inch border around the edge of the baked puff pastry shells.
2. Press down the center of each shell so that it rests about ¼ inch lower than the edge.
3. Gently spread the goat cheese mixture in the center of the shells, leaving the raised edges clean.
4. Gently spoon the tomatoes evenly over the cheese without disturbing the edge.