Puff Paste, when skilfully made, is light and tender, and so delicate that it cannot be touched without crushing:. It should be thoroughly baked, and is therefore more suitable for tarts and patties and the upper crust of pies. Eat it sparingly; unless you have a good digestion, and exercise freely, never eat it. It is, however, less injurious than the ordinary pastry seen on many tables, as it contains no more shortening than much of the pastry made with a "guess measure" of lard. It is not so much the amount of fat the paste contains that makes it indigestible, as the inferior quality of the fat, such as rancid butter or impure lard, or the soggy, greasy, half-cooked paste.
Pastry that is light, dry, and flaky is more easily separated by the gastric fluids than that which is heavy. Many housekeepers use lard in making pastry, as it is cheaper than butter, and makes a softer and more tender crust. Butter is more wholesome, and is preferable if you wish to make a brown crust. A mixture of half lard and half butter answers very well for common paste, but for puff paste butter alone should be used. In French receipts for puff paste eggs are considered essential, but there is no necessity for their use.
It requires practice to make puff paste well; and as there are so many other dishes more easily made and vastly more important, it is better not to waste time and strength upon it. Let your ambition as a housekeeper soar higher than perfection in making puff paste. But those who will have it may observe the following directions.