“ Brand: Asda / Type: Pastry „
I usually do my weekly shop in Tesco as it is nearer my house but from time to time I will go to Asda for a change. I bought some of the Asda puff pastry about a month ago and I had not tried their own brand of puff pastry before. The pastry is in the fridge cabinets in the supermarket and the block of 500g cost me around 85 pence which I thought was very good value as I always get two uses out of a block that is this size. I just use half of the block at a time and the other half can be frozen until I need it the next time. When I want the rest of the block I can just remove it from my freezer in the morning and take off the wrapper and leave the pastry on a plate. In the fridge the pastry will defrost all day or if I need it a bit quicker I can leave it out in the kitchen and that way it does not take as long to defrost it. The puff pastry is easy to use and all I need to do is make sure I have some flour to hand. I make sure that the board and the rolling pin are covered in flour and also my hands when I am handling the pastry. This stops the pastry from sticking to any surfaces or to your hands. The pastry is easy to roll out and this takes only a few moments. The pastry can then be put on a baking tray and put into the oven and it does not take to long to cook only about a half hour or so. You can see the pastry has puffed up through the oven door and it does this quickly after you have put it in the hot oven. The pastry can be used for sweets and deserts as well as for pies and things but I usually use it for a pie topping or to have with a stew or casserole. The Asda own brand of puff pastry is no different to dearer brands I have bought before so I think it is a good value pastry and I would buy it again. I suggest giving it a try if you use a packet of puff pastry as this one was good value and did what I wanted it to do.
I am one of those housewives who can remember that if you wanted puff pastry then the only way to get it was to make it yourself, I used to make rough puff pastry, a slightly quicker version that is not quite as refined. Puff pastry is time consuming to make, it requires so much rolling and re-rolling and added to that in between each roll out it needs to have a layer of fat added to it. Puff pastry is delicious and very versatile, you can top a savoury pie with a layer of puff pastry or you can use it for your Christmas mince pies. Now that ready made puff pastry is widely available in the supermarkets it has certainly made life far easier. I have tried a few brands of frozen and chilled puff pastry, some have been good brand names and have been an expensive buy and others have come from discount store freezers. The Asda puff pastry is chilled and offers quite good value for money and for just under 90p you can buy a 500g block that is ready to roll. I know that the ready rolled puff pastry is popular these days but I still prefer to give my rolling pin an airing now and again. Asda have taken the no frills approach with this product, you have the slab of chilled pastry that is wrapped and sealed into a plastic wrapper. You do need to remember to take the pastry out of the fridge for an hour or so before you are going to use it. In its raw state it is not an attractive proposition but that soon changes once it is cooked. I like to roll my puff pastry out on a well floured surface, this stops the pastry sticking. When you roll the Asda puff pastry you have to make sure that it is rolled out fairly thinly. If you top your pie with a thick layer and try to cook it then it will struggle to `puff up`. Asda puff pastry is like any other puff pastry, it needs to be cooked in a hot oven, the heat makes the pastry rise quickly and the layers soon start to form. If I am topping a savoury pie then I like to brush the pastry over using either beaten egg or milk before it is cooked, that gives the pie a good golden crust. On the other hand if I am making mince pie I like to brush the tops over with a syrup mixture before they go into the oven, this means that they come out with crisp sugary crusts. It is easy to make a superb Mille Feuille using chilled puff pastry, I have done countless experiments using different soft fruits in conjunction with puff pastry and they have all been well received. Asda state that their puff pastry is suitable for vegetarians. But the pastry does contain wheat, gluten, egg, milk and there may be traces of soya and nuts. Pastry is filled with fat and laden with calories and puff pastry especially is very fattening. 100g of the Asda puff pastry contains a massive 381 calories, so this is one treat that you may only choose to use for special occasions. If you are weight watching or you suffer from high cholesterol then this is a one to steer clear of. I like the Adsa puff pastry, it is the easy way out and it is is very reasonably priced. Asda also do a shortcrust pastry, this is good too and it comes in at around the same price as the puff pastry.
Even top chefs are now saying it is easier to buy puff pastry then go through the hassle of making it - so I decided to give it a go. I went for ASDA's own brand as I thought they must all be very similar and it has a use by date of nearly 3 weeks in the future. It says to remove it from the refrigerator 20 minutes before you use it but having worked in the baking trade I would say don't to this - use it straight away - it's soft enough anyway. Just remember if you roll puff pastry too thin it will just fall apart. I have made some sausage rolls which have come out OK but my greatest success is with the current and raisin slice. Wash a handful of both currents and rasins and leave in a covered bowl in the fridge overnight. Roll out about half the pastry into a rectangle. Spread the fruit (it should be nicely plumped up now) over one half of the pastry and fold over edge to edge. Go around the edge with a fork to seal everything in, brush over the top with milk and sprinkle on some granulated sugar. Place in a medium oven for about 20 minutes until the pastry has turned golden brown - yummy.
I've been cooking a lot recently to try and save a bit of cash, and I've been using a frozen ready made puff pastry by Jus-Rol. I noticed that the fresh pastry is loads cheaper than the frozen and was planning on buying the Jus-Rol fresh one, but then noticed ASDA did their own version, and even though it was only a penny cheaper I decided to try that one instead. The pastry comes in a yellow packet which shows a lovely, appetising picture of a pie on the front. You keep it in the refrigerator and it's suitable for home freezing too - great if you don't want to use it all at once. The shelf life isn't too bad - from the date mine was delivered, it had a use-by date of 3 and a half weeks in the future, which was great for me as it took me a couple of weeks to find the time to use it. To use this, you simply need to take it out of the fridge 20 minutes prior to using it. It comes in a 500g block and you simply cut off the amount you need and roll it out. Compared to the Jus-Rol brand I've used in the past, I found this one to be paler in colour and much stickier- I used quite a lot of flour on both the work surface and the rolling pin when using this, and even then it got stuck to the bench on a couple of occasions which was annoying. Once rolled out, obviously you just use as you would with any other pastry and put in the oven. It states on the pack it should be cooked at 220 degrees, but cooking time will obviously depend on your recipe. Once cooked the pastry looked quite good and was a nice golden brown colour. I used the pastry to make pasties and the main problem I had was that like I said, when rolling it had stuck to the bench. This had meant that I'd had to re-roll it, and when doing so it didn't seem to stick back together very well. One of the pasties, therefore had a big hole in it where it seemed the pastry had just come apart again and of course the filling had spilled out everywhere! Taste wise, the pastry was OK but I thought it tasted quite dry compared to the Jus-Rol and also didn't seem to puff up as well. It was still fine, and the difference wasn't huge, but still it was noticeable to me. A 500g block of this pastry costs just 86p from ASDA and from this I managed to get 8 pasties, which is pretty good - in terms of value anyway, not so great for my diet! As I mentioned earlier in the review, this was only 1p cheaper than the same size block from Jus-Rol. Personally I think I'd prefer to pay an extra penny for the Jus-Rol as the quality was slightly better than this version, however if that wasn't available or if ASDA lowered the price, I'd be happy to buy this one again. So in the ready made puff pastry stakes, Jus-Rol definitely wins. This one was slightly disappointing in the fact that it was so sticky and didn't taste quite so nice, but I'd still be prepared to buy another pack - although admittedly it would be my second choice!