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Pastry FAQ

 

What storage conditions are required for the pastry?

They can be stored at ambient temperature, out of direct sun and away from any dampness (which would cause the products to spoil). 

The manufacturer recommends that extremes of temperature should be avoided, and give the following limits: Temperature: Max 25°C  >  Min 10°C

What’s the shelf life of the pastry when delivered?

The shelf life varies from product to product according to the type of dough, but you can safely work on a minimum shelf life of 2 months at the time you receive your delivery.  In practice, it will usually be much longer.

Why does Pidy pastry have such a long shelf life compared to fresh pastry?

This is because fresh pastry comes out of the oven with a moisture content of around 15 - 20 % and develops mould in a few days.  There are always mould and yeast spores around in the atmosphere, and all they need is a moist and nourishing place (like fresh pastry) to set-up home and start multiplying.  In no time at all, there's so many of them that they become visible black or grey blotches which eventually grow whiskers.

The bakers at Pidy worked out that if they pass the pastry through a drying oven after normal baking, and reduce the moisture content to around 5%, there’s no longer enough moisture to support mould growth and therefore no spoilage occurs.  This process extends the shelf-life by many months, the precise length of time depending on the particular kind of pastry and the storage conditions.

Doesn't the dehydration process make the pastry a bit dry?

Well, yes, that's the whole point.  But nobody eats empty pastry cases straight from the box.  As soon as you add any kind of filling, whether by piping whipped cream into the profiteroles, filling shortcrust tartlets with patisserie cream, or adding a quiche mixture to the quiche cases, from that moment the pastry starts to rehydrate by taking some of the moisture from the filling.  It only takes just enough to restore the normal pastry consistency, and the effect on the filling is so small as to be negligible.
For the puff pastry items, like all the mini or large size Vol au Vents, we recommend that they are refreshed in an oven if they are being used with cold fillings.  Place in a preheated oven at 150°C for 5 minutes and allow to cool before filling.

What's the shelf-life once they've been filled?

Once the pastry cases have been filled, they have to be treated the same as fresh pastry.  Depending on the nature of the filling, the pastry will hold up for many hours and can be made up well in advance.  Pastries that need a second bake (quiches, crème brulées) will always hold up for longer.  Spoilage will also be dependent on the filling, and would be exactly as expected for a fresh-baked product: no more and no less.

Can the pastry cases be re-baked, for example if I want to make a lemon meringue tart?

Yes, within reason, the quiche cases especially, but try to avoid temperatures much in excess of 180°C for too long.  It’s a good idea to experiment with your own fillings.

How long will the pastry cases hold up after filling?

This will vary depending on the pastry case in question and the nature of the filling.  For best results, the mini puff pastry cases can be filled up to 12 hours in advance, the shortcrust tarts and tartlets will be fine for 24 hours, and any re-baked items (quiches for example) can be held for 48 hours.  They will last much longer than this before spoilage, but the eating quality will deteriorate, as you would expect.

Can I freeze them?

The empty cases freeze perfectly (probably due to the low moisture content) but why would you want to freeze them empty with such a long ambient shelf life?  When filled, they should be treated the same as for a fresh pastry product so are very suitable for freezing.

Are they microwave-able?

The shortcrust and the pressed pastry products (such as the quiche cases) can be microwaved with good results.  We are still waiting for someone to invent a microwave-able puff pastry.

Are they suitable for Vegetarians?

If egg and dairy products are included in the Vegetarian diet, then all the pastry cases we sell comply with this requirement.  If egg and/or dairy are excluded, then it varies from product to product.  The best way to check is to look at the Technical Specifications for the products that interest you.
You can find the Technical Specification by visiting the page of the product in question.  Clicking on the Specification button will enable you to download the full manufacturer’s technical specification, which includes physical characteristics, list of ingredients, and allergen declarations.

I looked at the Pidy website and I see you've not included every single product in Pastry Post. Why is this?

Simply because there are a few that do not travel well (the large meringue discs spring to mind - they are so very fragile) and also some of them are only packed in large outer cases which do not conform to the standard Pastry Post shipping carton.  But we speak often to Pidy, and they always listen when we come up with suggestions, so if you have a particular product in mind please contact us and we'll see what can be done to make it available on our website.

Does the pastry look “factory made”?

We don’t think so.  This is because we are selling baked products made using natural ingredients.  You will find there is subtle variability in shape and colour of products even within the same box.  This variability is controlled by Pidy within well defined limits, and the slight variations that result are quite normal, often enhancing the 'hand-made' appearance of the product.

What's with the name PIDY?

Pidy is an acronym, and stands for Patisserie Industrielle Dehaeck Ypres.  André Dehaeck created the recipes and founded the company in 1967.

 

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