What Are the Different Types of Pastry Desserts?

M. Kayo

The many different types of pastry desserts are generally made from four basic types of pastry dough. Shortcrust pastry, the most common type of pastry, is typically used to make pies and pie crust. Rough puff or puff pastry is lighter, flakier, and used in tarts and turnovers. Phyllo is an extremely thin and delicate pastry used for baklava and spanakopita while cream puffs and eclairs are typically made from pâte à choux pastry.

Pastry desserts on display at a bakery.
Pastry desserts on display at a bakery.

Pies, tarts, and quiches are made with shortcrust, the most common type of pastry dough. Very easy to make, the basic ingredients — flour, fat, water, and salt — are combined and rolled onto a flat surface. The flat pastry dough is then shaped, filled with fruit or some other ingredient and then baked. Desserts made with shortcrust may use the pastry as a foundation crust as well as a top crust.

Croissants, which have a light, flaky texture, are a popular pastry dessert.
Croissants, which have a light, flaky texture, are a popular pastry dessert.

The main ingredient in strudel, turnovers, and tarts is rough puff or puff pastry and is considered one of the most light and flaky of all doughs that can be used to create pastry desserts. A Napoleon is created by combining alternating layers of puff pastry and cream, custard, jam or other ingredients. A modified form of this pastry is also used to make light and flaky croissants.

Eclairs are a popular pastry dessert.
Eclairs are a popular pastry dessert.

Greek baklava is one of the most common pastry desserts that can be made from phyllo pastry dough. This type of pastry is made up of very thin, translucent sheets of party dough. These ultra-thin layers are typically grouped together to make stronger sheets of dough. Since it is so thin, phyllo dries out very easily and must be kept under a a damp cloth or layer of plastic during preparation. To help them brown, the individual layers are typically coated with oil or butter. This pastry dough can be quickly oven-baked or fried.

One serving pies are now a popular dessert option.
One serving pies are now a popular dessert option.

Pâte à choux, or simply choux pastry, is one of those French pastry doughs that requires precise timing and very particular handling. This light pastry dough is made by boiling fat and water, adding flour, cooling the mixture, and then gradually adding eggs. Pastry desserts made with this type of dough include cream puffs, profiteroles, or eclairs filled with different flavors of cream or custard. Some of these pastries are iced, glazed, or topped with chocolate.

Most pastry desserts are made from baked or fried pastry dough combined with creams, fruit filling, chocolate or other sweet ingredients. Some types of pastry like pâte &agrave choux may prove difficult to work with, requiring delicate handling and precisely measured ingredients. Others like shortcrust are very simple to prepare and may be used to easily create some tasty pastry desserts.

Pie is a common pastry dessert.
Pie is a common pastry dessert.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

burcidi

@fBoyle-- As far as I know, it's made with both shortcrust and choux pastry. Shortcrust dough is prepared and then choux pastry is spread on top. This makes the pastry firm on the bottom and puffy on top.

I'm sure there are different variations out there though. I'm sure you could make kringle with just shortcrust or with just choux pastry.

fBoyle

What type of pastry are Danish pastries like kringle made from?

candyquilt

I love pastry desserts made from pâte à choux pastry. I actually didn't know that that's what they're made of. I love cream puffs, eclairs and profiterole though. I think I like all Italian pastry desserts and they mostly use pâte à choux pastry to make them. I find this type of pastry to be tasty but not too heavy, especially when it's baked. My supermarket bakery makes a great dessert with two layers of pâte à choux pastry filled with custard, cream and fresh fruits. It's amazing. I'm hooked on it.

I dislike flaky puff pastry. It's difficult to eat and it's never filling. You can eat ten and still feel like you didn't eat anything. Plus, it's too dry.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: