Vol-au-vents are an impressive party snack to serve when you have guests. Here's how to make vol-au-vents using shop-bought puff pastry. Make a batch today and pack them with your favourite fillings for a quick and easy party canape!
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There is a good reason why vol-au-vents were so popular back in the 70s. It is simply because they were so quick to prepare and taste so delicious to eat. Who doesn't love a crispy, melt-in-the-mouth puff pastry case packed with mouth-watering fillings of sweet or savoury goodness?
It's a pity that these tasty morsels seem to have gone out of fashion because they are one of the easiest snacks to make and serve. Let me show you how to make your own homemade vol-au-vent cases from shop-bought puff pastry. I've got ideas for loads of delicious fillings too so that you can impress your Christmas guests with plates of tasty snacks.
What you will need
This recipe makes 12 smallish vol-au-vent cases.
**You can get the full list of ingredients and instructions on how to make vol-au-vents on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
This has got to be the shortest shopping list ever! You only need 2 ingredients.
- Puff pastry - you can buy ready-rolled puff pastry that you just unroll, or you can buy the pastry in a block that you have to roll yourself.
- Egg - for egg-washing
And that's it. This is all you need to make vol-au-vent cases.
Note - If you have bought a brick of puff pastry that needs to be rolled, place the puff pastry on a floured board. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a rectangular shape, roughly 24cm x 36 cm.
How to make vol-au-vents
The prep time is only 10 to 15 minutes and the cooking time is 20 minutes.
Unroll your pastry and leave it on the paper it was rolled in.
Cut it half down the middle then cut each half into 12 (roughly) even squares so you have 24 squares.
Cut another square into the inside of 12 of the squares. Leave a rim around the edge. This will form the sides of your vol-au-vent as it cooks.
The vol-au-vents are made by layering a square with the cutout on top of an uncut square.
Beat an egg lightly until well combined and then brush the edges of the 12 UNCUT squares with the beaten egg.
This will help the second layer of pastry to stick.
Place each square on a lined baking sheet.
Take the squares with the cut-out in the centre and arrange them on top of the uncut squares. You will now have 12 squares of pastry with 2 layers each.
Brush the top of the squares with egg wash, but be careful not to get it on the sides otherwise, your vol-au-vents will not rise properly.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
Place the tray in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the vol-au-vents are well-risen and golden.
Remove the vol-au-vents from the oven and allow them to cool.
Carefully remove the centre of each vol-au-vent and reserve it to use as a lid once you have filled the vol-au-vents.
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How large you make them depends on how you wish to serve them.
If you intend to serve them as canapes, then they should be quite small.
If you intend to serve them as a starter then you may like to make them larger.
Yes, you could use a scone cutter to make circular shapes. Use two sizes, one larger one to cut the initial circles and a smaller one to cut the inner circles.
You can freeze the vol-au-vents either cooked or uncooked.
To freeze uncooked vol-au-vents - assemble the vol-au-vents and then freeze them on the baking sheet until they are hard. Transfer to a plastic bag and store in the freezer until you are ready to use them. To use, place the frozen vol-au-vents on a parchment-lined baking tray and let them defrost. Bake as per recipe instructions
To freeze cooked vol-au-vents - place the cooked vol-au-vents in a rigid container and place them in the freezer. To use, remove from the freezer and allow to defrost. Then place in a hot oven for a few minutes to warm and crisp. Fill the warm vol-au-vents with your favourite filling.
Do not fill the vol-au-vents too far in advance of serving as they will absorb moisture from the filling and will go soggy.
Instead keep the cooked vol-au-vents and the filling separate until just before you want to eat them, then fill and serve immediately.
Ideas for fillings
There are so many yummy fillings you could put in these vol-au-vents. You are limited only by your imagination.
Here are some savoury ideas to get you started.
- chicken and mushrooms in a creamy sauce
- chopped hardboiled eggs and ham mixed with mayonnaise
- cream cheese and smoked salmon topped with chives
- shredded roast beef mixed with horseradish
- prawn mayonnaise
- coronation chicken
- chopped cherry tomatoes and black olives mixed with cream cheese
If you want to make sweet vol-au-vents then try these:
- Whipped cream mixed with chopped strawberries or other fruit
- Sliced bananas mixed with custard
- Chocolate mousse topped with a glace cherry
- Homemade orange curd and mandarin orange segments
Save for later
If you would like to make your own vol-au-vents, why not pin this recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so you can find it easily? Just click on the image below.
Alternatively, you can save the recipe by clicking on the floating heart icon on the right-hand side of the screen.
Other party food ideas
Why not try some of these other party food ideas?
- Pork and apple sausage rolls - everyone's favourite party snack
- South African Savoury Tart - eggs and Vienna sausages mixed with thick cheesy sauce baked in a crispy homemade pastry shell
- Ham and cheese pinwheels - made with 2-ingredient dough
- Scotch eggs - hard-boiled eggs covered with a layer of pork mince and coated in crispy breadcrumbs.
- Sesame chicken strips - strips of tender chicken breast, deep-fried in a coating of sesame seeds
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1 roll frozen puff pastry defrosted
- 1 small egg
- Allow the puff pastry to defrost.
- Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F
- Unroll the puff pastry. If using a block rather than a sheet, roll it into a rectangle, roughly 24cm x 36cm1 roll frozen puff pastry
- Cut the puff pastry into 24 equal squares.
- Take half of the pastry squares and cut a smaller square from the centre of each one. Leave the cutout piece in place.
- Beat the egg lightly to form an eggwash and brush the edges of the uncut squares with the eggwash. Place each of the 12 squares onto lined baking sheet.1 small egg
- Place each of the squares with the cutout on top of the egg-washed squares and brush the top of each one with the beaten egg. You will now have 12 squares with 2 layers each.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until well risen and golden
- Remove the vol-au-vents from the oven.
- Allow them to cool then carefully remove the centre square from each vol-au-vent. Set this piece aside to use as a lid when you fill the vol-au-vents
- Fill with your favourite fillings and serve.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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