My first thought when I saw one of these little Thanksgiving puff pastry appetizers at a coffee shop was, "Wow. That looks delicious, but I could never make that." I bought one, and once I took the first bite of that buttery puff pastry I knew. It was suddenly so obvious that this was actually just one of those easy recipes that looks intimidating but isn't! Just my style. These Quick Apple Puff Pastries are in fact, very basic and when you've seen me do it once, you'll have an "Aha!" moment.
You'll need two sheets of puff pastry dough (which is one package), a few tart apples, cinnamon and sugar, a pinch of salt and a smidge of egg wash to brush the tops with and about 15 minutes of hands-on time.
That's it. Then we're gonna pop'em in the oven and wait patiently for our elegant appetizer to get all impressively puffy and golden. Thanksgiving puff pastry appetizers couldn't be easier!
Giddy up, let's go. We've got some easy holiday appetizers to whip up!
- What makes this thanksgiving puff pastry appetizers recipe work
- What is a puff pastry?
- What is the best way to thaw a puff pastry?
- Tips for working with puff pastry dough
- These apple puff pastry appetizers are perfect for special occasions
- How to store Quick Apple Puff Pastry appetizers
- How to reheat leftover puff pastry
- 4 HELPFUL TIPS FOR USING PUFF PASTRY SHEETS
- HOW TO THAW PUFF PASTRY SHEETS
- Ingredients for apple puff pastries
- 📖 Recipe
- TIPS FOR WORKING WITH PUFF PASTRY DOUGH
- HOW TO STORE QUICK APPLE PUFF PASTRY APPETIZERS
- Top tip
- best of the best puff pastry recipes
- 💬 Comments
What makes this thanksgiving puff pastry appetizers recipe work
Here's the quick version of why I love this easy apple puff pastry recipe. Oops, I just gave it away... that's right, it's really, really simple. That's it. But also, I need foods that don't mind long car rides and can be prepped ahead of time because we travel for the holidays.
I'm in a season of life where I love high quality foods, but sometimes I need to take short cuts so that I don't get overwhelmed or lose my mind. Puff pastries are gorgeous and look like they take hours, but they don't. At all.
You probably have apples on hand. And if you like to entertain, I'd always keep a puff pastry in the freezer, too. If you have these two things, plus about fifteen minutes to wrap the dough around the apple slice, you can have an ultra fancy and delicious appetizer.
What is a puff pastry?
If you want to make a very quick, really simple dessert that also happens to yield impressive results, look no farther than the freezer section of your grocery store. This is where you can find frozen sheets of ready-made puffed pastry. Puffed pastry is the perfect shortcut—it looks very unimpressive in the package, but bakes into a puffy, golden, flaky layer that makes the perfect crust for tarts, like strawberry, blackberry or savory asparagus tarts, hors d’oeuvres, homemade pop tarts…the list goes on.
Puff pastry is a freezer aisle gem that starts off flat and unassuming but turns into a golden, flaky and perfect appetizer when baked. Picture a versatile dough that puffs up, creating layers upon layers of buttery, crisp deliciousness. You can make it from scratch by mixing up a dough made with simple ingredients, chopping cold butter into little pieces and then laminating the layers together over and over again, but the process takes extra time. Usually when I am making an easy puff pastry appetizer, I like to place the emphasis on "easy." I've got somewhere to go, or friends are coming over, and I really don't want to spend all of my prep time making something that everyone will just assume I bought anyways.
What is the best way to thaw a puff pastry?
When it comes to thawing puff pastry, patience is your best friend. Just take the store-bought puff pastry sheets out of the freezer, put them in the fridge, and let it chill for a few hours or overnight. When you open a package or box of puff pastry dough, there are usually two sheets separated with parchment paper.
Slow and steady wins the race here. Avoid the microwave or hot water methods – we want that pastry to stay cool and cooperative. I also am not afraid to stop and wait if I feel like the puff pastry isn't the right temp. Does it need a few more minutes to warm up? Is it getting too loose, should I pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes? The answer is always yes.
Tips for working with puff pastry dough
Puff pastry can be a bit delicate, but no need to fret. Keep your workspace lightly floured, and handle it gently. Roll it out on a clean surface, and if it gets too soft, a quick pop in the fridge can firm it up. When you're cutting shapes or folding it over your tasty fillings, use a sharp knife for clean edges. I've found that rolling it between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper helps keep it from sticking to the rolling pin and my working surface.
And don't forget to brush it with a touch of butter or egg wash (my fav!) for that beautiful, golden, flaky puff pastry finish. It's all about balance: treat it kindly, and it'll reward you with those irresistible layers.
These apple puff pastry appetizers are perfect for special occasions
Our family always has big Thanksgiving get-togethers, but the problem is we have at least THREE and they are all out of town for me. It makes the holiday season feel a little hectic. While I love seeing everyone and eating great food, I always have to bring sides that travel well and don't need to be at a certain temperature since we spend so much time in the car. These thanksgiving puff pastry appetizers are perfect!
These puff pastries are perfect to take to Thanksgiving. They make a delightful appetizer to enjoy before the big feast, when everyone is hungry for a little snack, but the meal isn't quite ready yet. I like to slice them into fourths so that they are more ''grab-and-go" bite-sized.
I'm not really a sports mom, but I do love the food that goes along with game days! Whether it's football, basketball, or any other sporting event, these hand pies would be a touchdown with your family and friends. Serve them with some cider for the ultimate game day snack.
Sometimes, you don't need a special occasion to enjoy good food. Make these puff pastries on a relaxed weekend just because you and your family deserve a tasty treat. While I was testing this recipe to get it just right, my husband and kids kept walking by and asking how much longer they had to wait. I served them with lasagna (of all things!) and it was just a normal weeknight meal that felt extra special.
How to store Quick Apple Puff Pastry appetizers
1. Room Temperature: If you plan to consume them within a day or two, you can leave them at room temperature, covered with a clean kitchen towel or a loosely fitting lid. They should stay fresh and crisp.
2. Refrigeration: For longer storage, place your puff pastry appetizers in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate them, and they should stay good for up to 3-4 days. However, keep in mind that the pastry might lose a bit of its initial crispness.
3. Freezing: If you want to store them for an extended period, freezing is your best bet. Arrange the pastries in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until they're solid. Then, transfer them to an airtight container or a freezer bag, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
How to reheat leftover puff pastry
When you're ready to enjoy them again, reheat from frozen or chilled in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes, or until they're heated through and crispy. Just set a timer to check on them frequently so that they don't burn.
Whether you're storing them for a short while or planning for a longer stay in the fridge or freezer, the key is to keep them well-sealed to prevent moisture and air from affecting their texture and flavor.
4 HELPFUL TIPS FOR USING PUFF PASTRY SHEETS
1. Unfold the Pastry with Care: Lay out your pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface, whether it's parchment paper or a trusty silpat mat. If you encounter any cracks while unfolding, no worries—just sprinkle a touch of water on the crack and delicately press the edges together to seal them up.
2. Keep It Cool: Sometimes, those thawed pastry sheets can get a bit too warm and sticky. If that happens, pop them back into the freezer for a quick five-minute chill. Once they're nicely chilled again, you're all set to continue crafting your delightful puff pastry dessert.
3. Watch the Puff: Like a hot air balloon ascending into the sky, puff pastries have a tendency to swell during their time in the oven. I've learned the hard way to give them ample space to puff up without touching the oven rack above. So, remember to leave plenty of room for their grand expansion during baking.
4. If It Rises Too High: Sometimes, enthusiasm in the oven can make that puff pastry rise a bit too high. Not to worry, though! When it comes out of the oven, you can gently press it back down to a more manageable level. A large, flat spatula or a trusty wooden spoon works wonders for this task. I had to employ this fix with both of the tarts I made today, so you're in good company.
HOW TO THAW PUFF PASTRY SHEETS
Here's how I prepare my frozen puff pastry. Remove the pastry from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for up to thirty minutes. The pastry sheet is thawed enough when it still feels cold, but can be unfolded without tearing. If it does tear, just stop and wait a few minutes.
The pastry can also be thawed by using the microwave, BUT I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS METHOD. If you want to proceed, remove the frozen pastry dough from the box and outer wrapping. Cover it with a paper towel and microwave it for 15 seconds on high. Turn the pastry over and microwave for another 15 seconds.
TIP: Keep the pastry chilled! It should never reach room temperature. Once it is ready to be unfolded and rolled out, work fast to get it in the oven quickly.
Ingredients for apple puff pastries
For the apple pastries
- Puff pastry sheets, thawed but still very cold
- Apples, cored, halved, and sliced very thin
- Brown sugar
- Egg white for egg wash
For the cream cheese dip
- Cream cheese room temperature
- Granulated sugar
- Heavy whipping cream
- Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
See recipe card for quantities.
- Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
- Gently unfold the thawed puff pastry onto an area lightly dusted with flour. Carefully roll the pastry dough to a 10 x 11 inch rectangle. Transfer the puff pastry to the lined baking sheet.
3. Cut the apples into slices and remove the seeds with a cookie cutter or knife.
4. In a medium bowl, add the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to apples. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for a few minutes. The sugar will stick to the apples and some juices will release, but it's okay if the sugar falls off. See my picture below.
5. Use a pastry wheel or pizza cutter to slice the puff pastry into ½" ribbons. Friendly tip, don't accidentally scratch your cookie sheet!
6. Wrap the ribbons around the sugar-marinated apple slices, winding it from the center to the edges over and over again until the apple is covered with pastry dough. Don't worry about sealing gaps.
7. Make and egg wash by whisking together an egg white and water. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush a little egg wash over the tops and then sprinkle with any leftover cinnamon sugar mixture.
8. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Juices will escape, and that's okay!
9. While the apple puff pastry appetizers are baking, make the cream cheese dip by whisking the cream cheese, cream, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar in a bowl until smooth.
10. Serve warm or refrigerate up to one day ahead of time. You can pop them back into the oven to warm for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. For more delicious recipes from scratch and homesteading tips, follow me on instagram @NinnescahHomestead
Quick Apple Puff Pastry (Perfect Thanksgiving Appetizer!)
- baking sheet & parchment paper
Apple Puff Pastries
- 2 sheets puff pastry dough thawed
- 3 apples cored, halved, and sliced very thin
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white mixed with equal parts water
Cream Cheese Dip (optional)
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon madagascar bourbon vanilla or regular vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
- Gently unfold the thawed puff pastry onto an area lightly dusted with flour. Carefully roll the pastry dough to a 10 x 11 inch rectangle. Transfer the puff pastry to the lined baking sheet.2 sheets puff pastry dough
- Cut the apples into slices and remove the seeds with a cookie cutter or knife.3 apples
- In a medium bowl, add the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to apples. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for a few minutes.⅔ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Use a pastry wheel or pizza cutter to slice the puff pastry into ½" ribbons.
- Wrap the ribbons around the apple slices, winding it from the center to the edges over and over again until the apple is covered with pastry dough.
- Make an egg wash by mixing one egg white with one tablespoon of water. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the pastries. Sprinkle with a light dusting of leftover cinnamon and sugar mixture.1 egg white
- Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
- While the apple puff pastry appetizers are baking, make the cream cheese dip by whisking the cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl until smooth.4 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon madagascar bourbon vanilla, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Serve warm or refrigerate up to one day ahead of time. You can pop them back into the oven to warm for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
TIPS FOR WORKING WITH PUFF PASTRY DOUGHPuff pastry can be a bit delicate, but no need to fret. Keep your workspace lightly floured, and handle it gently. Roll it out on a clean surface, and if it gets too soft, a quick pop in the fridge can firm it up. When you're cutting shapes or folding it over your tasty fillings, use a sharp knife for clean edges. I've found that rolling it between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper helps keep it from sticking to the rolling pin and my working surface. And don't forget to brush it with a touch of butter for that beautiful, golden, flaky puff pastry finish. It's all about balance: treat it kindly, and it'll reward you with those irresistible layers.
HOW TO STORE QUICK APPLE PUFF PASTRY APPETIZERS1. Room Temperature: If you plan to consume them within a day or two, you can leave them at room temperature, covered with a clean kitchen towel or a loosely fitting lid. They should stay fresh and crisp. 2. Refrigeration: For longer storage, place your puff pastry appetizers in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate them, and they should stay good for up to 3-4 days. However, keep in mind that the pastry might lose a bit of its initial crispness. 3. Freezing: If you want to store them for an extended period, freezing is your best bet. Arrange the pastries in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until they're solid. Then, transfer them to an airtight container or a freezer bag, separating layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking. They can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
As an amazon associate, this post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
For making your Quick Apple Puff Pastry recipe, you'll find these tools handy: a pastry brush for a golden finish, a sharp knife or pizza cutter for clean cuts, parchment paper or a Silpat mat for a non-stick surface, a baking sheet for even baking, measuring cups and spoons for precise measurements, a small bowl and whisk for preparing an egg wash, a cooling rack for post-baking cooling, and some flour for dusting to prevent sticking. These tools will make your pastry-making process a breeze.
Remember to brush the pastry with butter or a light egg wash before baking. This gives your puff pastries a beautiful, golden finish and adds a touch of shine. To make the egg wash, simply beat one egg with a teaspoon of water, and lightly brush it over the pastries before they go into the oven. It's a small step that makes a big difference in presentation
Absolutely! You can prepare these puff pastries ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer until you're ready to bake. If refrigerated, they can be made a day or two in advance. For longer storage, freeze them, and they can be kept for up to 2-3 months. Just pop them in the oven when you're ready to serve.
Yes, you have some apple flexibility here. While tart apples like Granny Smiths work well for their tangy contrast with the sweet filling, you can use other apple varieties, too. Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji apples can add a sweeter note. Feel free to mix and match or use what you have on hand. Today I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp.
Oh yes, these are a great appetizer to get creative with! Chopped walnuts or pecans can add a delightful crunch, and spices like nutmeg or cloves can enhance the flavor. Just remember to keep the flavors balanced, so your additions complement the sweet apple goodness at the core of these pastries. One idea I'm dying to try is adding brie cheese!
To keep your puff pastries crisp, ensure that the apple filling isn't too wet. You can sprinkle a little flour or cornstarch over the apples before placing them on the pastry to absorb excess moisture if you feel they are really wet. Also, make sure your appetizers are properly sealed to prevent any filling from leaking out during baking. You can see in the pictures that mine leaked a little, but we don't mind the extra candy crunch on the bottom!
best of the best puff pastry recipes
I am steadily adding more and more recipes to my best puff pastry appetizers list. I always love getting a spinach puff pastry appetizer, puff pastry cheese straws, puff pastry pinwheels, or brie puff pastry bites when we go to a fancy restaurant.
And like a mentioned above, I always assumed that they were very time consuming and difficult to make. Ha. It turns out, they just look really tricky.
Now I am quick to whip up little squares or a mini muffin tin of dough topped with caramelized onions, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, or even veggies to make a tasty appetizer that is a crowd pleaser.
Here are a few options for a sweet treat and savory options for you to whip up! I try to make these throughout the year, when the berries, fruits and veggies are in season. Strawberries begin to ripen in my garden during early June, and I like to make a simple strawberry cheesecake tart with strawberries and lemon curd.
We've had a rough blackberry season the last two years. Everything looks perfect and the rambling shoots are loaded with blooms, but then a late frost wipes us out. Even if I have to by my berries at the store, a Blackberry cheesecake tart with dollops of blackberry jam is ALWAYS on the summer dessert menu!
This recipe is a savory one, with bacon bits, cheese all layered into a mouthwatering aspragus puff pastry . I thought my kids would turn up their noses, but they really liked it! It was like eating a fancy asparagus pizza.
These last two recipes aren't traditionally made with a puff pastry, but they can easily be adapted! I love making pies, but pie crusts are tough for me sometimes. I love the naturally gluten-free cream cheese crust of this apple galette , but it can absolutely be made with a puff pastry! Same with my homemade chicken pot pies.
The next time you are invited to holiday parties or game night, think of these flaky pastry laminated dough delicacies. Are they hard to make? Nope. But everyone will be super impressed with your skill!
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and rating to let me know what you think! Happy baking!