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Vol Au Vent Pastry Shells are the means to hold delicious fillings, savory OR sweet. Charm your family with this old-fashioned pastry bake, stuffed with their favorite filling. They’ll travel back to the 70s with you while enjoying these pastries.
Vol au Vent shells are just Homemade Rough Puff Pastry cases that look a little like a volcano. The cases consist of one flat disk of homemade rough puff, and two more disks on top but with the center cut out.
They’re held together with an egg wash made of egg and cream. That egg wash is also brushed on top of the upper ring of the Vol au Vent shell to give it a brown sheen. As the shells bake they rise up to form a round hollow case to hold fillings. Vol au Vent means windblown, referring to the lightness of the pastry.
Typically the shells are filled with a savory filling but you can use a sweet filling too. But these cases are neither sweet nor savory they’re just puff pastry flavored.
It was PASTRY WEEK on The GBBO!
Pastry Week always panics bakers, and I understand that! This bake left me sleepless for at least one night. I was worried the pastry would slip and slide, which it did for many bakers in the episode.
I’d like to say that I know WHY mine didn’t slide everywhere but I’m not 100% sure. I think it’s because I used an egg wash to hold them together and I chilled them right before baking.
Bakes for Pastry Week
- Signature Bake: Sweet Vol au Vent
- Technical Bake: Fried Spring Rolls
- Showstopper Bake: 3D Pastry Scene
I’ve NEVER heard of a sweet, not savory, Vol au Vent before, have you? For some reason, the only ones I’d ever seen were IN cookbooks and full of something akin to a chicken pot pie filling. Or something close to it.
Sweet Vol au Vents intrigued me, and I HAD to make them. Mostly I just love making rough puff pastry. And I relished the thought of making it again. Also, I REALLY want to spell that RUFF PUFF, not rough puff.
Things you will need:
- all-purpose flour
- butter-some of the butter needs to be frozen the rest can just be cold butter
- milk or cream
- medium bowl
- plastic wrap, beeswax wrap, foil, plastic bag
- baking sheets
- parchment paper
Any time you work with pastry
KEEP IT COLD. Don’t use warm butter. Don’t overwork it in a warm room or next to a hot oven or stove. When in doubt CHILL IT.
To Store Leftovers
Store cooled unfilled shells in an airtight container. Do not fill the Vol au Vents and then try to store for serving, the filling will melt your pastry shell.
Vol au Vent
Vol au Vent Shells
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 3/4 cup butter Half of the butter should be frozen, the OTHER half should be straight out of the fridge
- 9 TBSP cold water
- 1 egg
- 1 TBSP cream or use milk
- 3/4 cup blueberry jam I used homemade low sugar jam, use what you have and love
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 TBSP granulated sugar
- 2 TBSP graham cracker crumbs
- 12 blueberries
- mix the flour and salt together
- cut the cold butter into pieces and work into the flour until its crumbly, use two knives or a pastry blender, or your hands
- add enough of the water to the flour mix and stir to form a dough, if its still dry you can add more water, you don't want a dry dough
- once a dough forms knead it lightly in the bowl and then transfer it to the counter
- pat it out in a rectangle and then roll it out to 12×6 inches with the short end towards you
- grate the frozen butter directly onto the bottom 2/3s of the dough
- fold the top third down over the butter, then fold the bottom third up as well, see diagram
- rotate 90° roll out to 12×6 inch rectangle again, fold the same way
- cover tightly and refrigerate for 20 minutes
- remove from the fridge, and put the short end towards you, roll out to 12×6 inch rectangle, fold the same as above and rotate 90°
- roll out to a 12×6 inch rectangle again, fold again
- wrap the dough back up and refrigerate
- repeat the rolling and rotating one more time and the dough is done
- to make the shells: roll the cold dough out to roughly 18×14 inches, cut 36 circles out of the dough
- lay 12 of them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
- cut the middles out of 24 of the circles
- make an egg wash out of the egg and cream, use your finger to put a circle of egg wash on the flat full circle of dough, lay one ring on top, add egg wash, lay final ring on top, add egg wash, be careful not to get egg wash on the sides of the vol au vent shell, that can make it bake up uneven!
- when all the shells are assembled refrigerate for 20 minutes
- preheat the oven to 425°while the shells cool
- bake the vol au vent shells for 15-19 minutes or until the shells are baked, the bottoms are crispy and they are lightly browned all over
- cool completely on a wire rack
- if any of the shells have risen inside the rings pick that out or poke it back down
- TO SERVE fill with your desired filling, or use my blueberry filling idea, add a TBSP of jam to the shells, make the heavy cream into whipped cream and pipe into the tops of the vol au vent shells add a blueberry and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs
2 thoughts on “Vol Au Vent Pastry Shells”
What is the oven temp?