I used this bon appétit recipe (my slight adaptations are below) for Chaussons aux Pommes (French apple turnovers). Delicious!
2 Granny Smith apples
2 other tart, firm apples, such as pink lady (or just use 4 Granny Smith apples)
1/4 c. water
3 t. sugar
3/4 t. fresh lemon juice
zest from one small lemon
1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 recipe homemade puff pastry, approx. 15 ounces (or, use store-bought frozen puff pastry, thawed)
1 egg, lightly beaten
a few teaspoons of granulated sugar
|the filling is so simple - apples, a bit of water, lemon, zest, sugar, salt, and spices|
|can I peel the apple in one go?|
Peel the apples and cut into small, uniformly-size pieces.
Add the apple pieces, water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and spices to a medium saucepan. Stir to coat the apples. Bring the water to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 8-9 minutes. Give the apples a periodic stir so they cook evenly. You want the apple filling mixture to soften, but still have chunks of apples...we're not making applesauce!
Let the apple mixture cool completely (or it will melt the butter in your puff pastry and ruin the layers before you bake).
|cooking down the apples|
|the finished apple filling|
|my full recipe of puff pastry; half is needed for this recipe|
To make the tarts, roll out your puff pastry to a just larger than 15" square (you shouldn't need much, if any, flour when rolling). You want it slightly larger so you can trim off the edges and have a nice, sharp edge, which will allow the pastry layers to "puff" when it bakes. You can see how much I trimmed off in the above picture.
Using a ruler and sharp knife or pizza/pastry cutter, cut your 15" square into nine 5" squares; see below picture.
|my nine 5" squares|
Carefully stack the 9 squares between plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
|let the dough rest before filling and baking|
After the dough has rested, you're ready to fill.
Lightly beat the egg with a fork and set aside. Put a heaping tablespoon of filling in the bottom center of the dough then brush the edge of the bottom half with your egg wash and gently fold the top half over. Using your fingers, gently press the two edges of the dough together. Don't press too hard or you will force the egg out and over the cut edge. You want to avoid getting egg on the cut edges of the dough or it will seal together all of your beautiful layers when you bake the turnovers.
At this point, the turnovers could be frozen - this is what I will do next time so they can be baked individually for breakfast or a snack.
|adding the filling and sealing it inside|
After all of the turnovers are filled, give each of them an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. I used regular granulated sugar, but you could also use sanding sugar or turbinado sugar.
|a quick brush of egg and sprinkle of sugar|
Pop the filled, egg-washed turnovers into the fridge for another 20 minutes or so until they firm up a bit. This will chill the butter in the puff pastry and will help create better layers when you bake.
During this final chill, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
The final step before baking is to cut some slits so the steam can escape during baking (otherwise they might pop open during baking).
|ready to bake!|
Bake on two parchment paper lined sheet pans at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so, until golden brown. When you lower the temperature, also rotate the pans from front-to-back (if using two oven racks, also swap the pans from top to bottom).
|so pretty...and look at those puff pastry layers|
Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, gently move to a cooling rack. Let cool for about 15 minutes; serve warm. They would be delicious with vanilla ice cream!
|smells so good!|
|can't wait to dig in|
|flaky and delicious!|
|so good...I'll have to make these again soon...|
Bye for now...