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I have read many questions and answers on puff pastry but I still need to know what happened to mine:
My pastry did puff up nicely but deflated as soon as I removed it from the oven. Worse, the layers become soggy when cooled.

  • I bake it at 425 deg F for 25-30 minutes.
  • The filling I have is moist though not runny.
  • I make my own short crust pastry as the base lining the tin foil pastry cup.
  • I line the top with a standard puff pastry bought from the supermarket. I had to roll out that puff pastry a bit as I needed it slightly larger than the size it came as i.e. 4" square. I did try to be careful to not overdo it.
  • I try to keep the raw pastry as cool as possible before it goes into the oven but it's difficult with our humid weather here.

Do any of these cause my pastry to turn soggy? Is there something that I shouldn't be doing at all?

  • Related: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/32601/… – GdD Jul 24 '17 at 11:36
  • Did you cut vents for steam? Letting the steam out can help keep pastry from getting soggy. And the trapped steam can, ah, overstretch a crust, so it ends up thinner when baked and/or saggy when cooled or cut into. – Megha Jul 25 '17 at 5:37
  • I did 3 slits on top of the puff pastry before glazing it with eggwash. Should I make more slits then? – Steven Heong Jul 25 '17 at 10:10
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Puff pastry puffs because of little pockets of gas form between very thin sheets of lean dough. In handmade (and better-quality commercial) puff pastry, these gas pockets are filled with steam, which forms when the butter (which is about 16% water) heats up. In a typical commercial puff, the pockets are filled with c02 released from a chemical leavener like baking powder. For this structure to be stable, some internal rigidity needs to form before it cools; that rigidity comes from the sheets of lean dough being cooked enough to become crispy. If you open the oven before this happens, or take your dish out too soon, the thin sheets of lean dough won't have had a chance to crisp up enough to hold their shape, the gas inside the pockets will contract, the pastry will collapse, and you'll be left with a greasy, gummy mess. Short answer? Make sure it's fully cooked before you take it out.

More specific advice:

  • Make sure that you don't open the oven during cooking, and make sure that you don't take it out too soon. If you have a window on your oven, try gauging the doneness before opening the door. If it looks like it's going to be far too brown for your taste by the time it's cooked inside, turn the oven off and let it sit in the hot-ish oven to crisp up a little without getting blasted by heat.
  • If you haven't tested your oven's temperature, get an oven thermometer to make sure that you're at the temperature you think you are. Internal oven thermostats are notoriously inaccurate.

As an aside, you CAN overdo it when rolling out commercial puff, but if it puffed up in the oven initially and didn't collapse until you took it out, you can rest assured that this wasn't the problem.

  • Thank you so much, I now realized I have so many variables to consider including the gas oven that I'm using. It does get hotter around the sides and front but not so at the back. I am guilty of opening the oven to rotate the pies to give them a even browning. Perhaps this is the root problem. The tempreature in the oven is quite accurate as I have been baking cakes in it. I tested with a tempreature gauge but I think the gauge is not quite sensitive to give an accurate reading. – Steven Heong Jul 25 '17 at 10:19
  • Glad I could help @StevenHeong. If you think what I wrote answers the question, could click the checkmark next to it to accept it? – ChefAndy Jul 25 '17 at 16:15
  • Adding to this answer, if baking in a gas oven and getting an uneven brown, you should place a tray on the shelf below. This will direct the heat up and back down helping to get an even heat on top of your pie and stopping the bottom from burning. – Doug Jul 26 '17 at 16:38
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In addition to the suggestions provided by @SomeInterwebDev you should also make sure that the bottom of the bottom layer has a bit of 'extra butter' on it. This layer of oil (butter) creates a barrier to the watery liquid in your pie allowing to crisp up before it soaks up too much liquid. (If you don't already, putting a layer of butter on top of your bottom crust does the same)

  • Thanks so much, but I'm a bit lost here...You are referring to the top surface of the bottom layer of short crust dough that's lining the base? How should the butter be applied? I'm guessing that it should be in its soft creamy condition, right? – Steven Heong Jul 25 '17 at 10:26
  • Yes. As an oil the butter serves as a barrier between the liquid (gravy) in your pie and bread that is the crust. Just spread a 'bit' of soft butter across any crust surface that will come in contact with any liquid... top of the bottom, bottom of the top and all along the sides (if any). – Cos Callis Jul 25 '17 at 12:30
  • Ok, I understand it clearly now. I'll give that a try. Thanks very much – Steven Heong Jul 25 '17 at 12:51
  • @StevenHeong cheers! – ChefAndy Jul 28 '17 at 13:44

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