The term “Pastry Frame” can mean several different things:
- A mould to help in making pastries, such as when you cook a rectangle of puffed pastry with edges around it, or pour a sponge cake batter into it to make a square, flat spongecake foundation for a base. They are usually metal, and usually stainless steel. They have movable slats, about 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) tall, that let you divide them into differently-sized squares. They are open at the top and bottom and meant to be used with a cookie sheet that provides the base.
- A stackable set of frames used in assembling large sponges, entremets and mousses. You take a thin layer of sponge, about the size of a quarter slab or larger, and assemble the first frame around it. The frame has corners that lock together, and will be anywhere from 3/8 inch to 3/4 inch (10 to 20 mm) high. Your spread your first layer of pastry cream or mousse on top of the sponge slab, then chill it, then assemble the second frame on top. You apply your second layer of topping within the frame, chill again, then repeat with the third frame for the final layer. Usually the sets include frames of three different heights; you start with the tallest one first.
- A frame to hold a pastry cloth, while stretching it out and raising it above the work surface. The frame can be made of wood, metal or metal and wood. A typical size for a frame is about 21 inches (50 cm) square. It usually has legs or clamps that extend over the edge of counter, to raised the top of the frame off the work surface and help hold the frame in place. Most models are designed so that the pastry cloth will be stretched taut across the top of them, making your pastry cloth work surface about 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) above the counter. They are usually sold with a pastry cloth, and often include a rolling pin cover as well.
- A frame actually made out of pastry, such as puffed pastry.