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Vol-au-vent


Vols-au-vent

Vols-au-vent
© Denzil Green


A Vol-au-vent is a French baked puff pastry casing, hollow inside and with a lid. It's served with a savoury filling (usually creamy) in it; it's not always served with its lid.

It is made from rolled-out puff pastry. You cut two circles of the same size, and then cut a hole out of the centre of one.

You then put that one with the hole out of it on top of the whole one, and pinch the edges a bit so they'll stay together.

Bake that, along with the pastry that was cut out off to the side.

The way the joined pieces rise in the oven forms a bowl with edges on it.

Vols-au-vent can vary in size from appetizer size to meal size. In French, the small appetizer-sized ones are called "bouchées", the most well-known recipe perhaps being "Les Bouchées à la Reine", or perhaps "Bouchées Financières."

You can buy Vol-au-vent cutter sets, which are a set of solid rings made of aluminum of different sizes, generally ranging from 4 inches (10 cm) to 9 inches (23 cm) wide. Each has a hole in the middle to help guide the centre cut you have to make. They are quite pricey, though, about $80.00 US (2005 prices.)

You can just buy Vols-au-vent already made at some stores.

Cooking Tips

Baking Vols-au-vent on a doubled-tray may help prevent the bottoms from becoming too brown.

Language Notes

In French, "Vol-au-vent" means "flight in the wind." The correct plural actually is "vols-au-vent", not "vol-au-vents."

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See also:

Pastry

Beurre Pâtissier; Bouchée Shells; Choux Pastry; Egg Wash; Gougères; Hot Water Crust Pastry Recipe; Hot Water Crust Pastry; Pasta Frolla Recipe; Pasta Frolla; Pastry Crust; Pastry Jigger; Pastry Wheels; Pastry; Pâton; Phyllo Pastry; Profiteroles; Puff Pastry; Rolling Pin Cover; Suet Crust Pastry; Vol-au-vent; Warqa

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Bon mots

"Liqueurs were not lacking; but the coffee especially deserves mention. It was as clear as crystal, aromatic and wonderfully hot; but, above all, it was not handed around in those wretched vessels called cups on the left banks of the Seine, but in beautiful and capacious bowls, into which the thick lips of the reverend fathers plunged, engulfing the refreshing beverage with a noise that would have done honor to sperm-whales before a storm."

-- Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (French food writer. 1 April 1755 - 2 February 1826)

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