Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Apple-filled Puff Pastry

(click on this picture to see up close the wonderfulness of this pastry)
Do you love puff pastry, but are scared to try it because it just seems plain difficult and time consuming? Then give this recipe a try. It is beyond easy and quite delicious! I'm not sure if I've ever had the store bought puff pastry, so it was a bit difficult to know what I was going for and hard to compare taste and texture. I think this one may be a little less flaky than real puff pastry, but hey, when you're cheating, what do you expect? :) And after trying and succeeding with this recipe, I think I have the confidence to try the real deal now!

The apple filling was gooey and fabulous and would be so good on top of pancakes or the dutch baby I posted earlier or icecream, etc. The streusel and icing just topped it off perfectly. It tasted like a pastry straight out of a fantastic bakery! And the best part about this recipe is that all the components can be made ahead of time and then just assemble the morning you want them and bake. I love it!




Fast and Easy Puff Pastry (from king arthur flour)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup cold butter, cut into pats
1/2 cup sour cream
*Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
*Add the butter and cut in to make coarse mixture, leaving the butter pea-sized or even a little larger.
*Stir in the sour cream the best you can without overworking it. It will NOT come together completely. There will be a lot of dry crumbly spots. Turn the whole half clumpy, half dry mixture out onto a floured surface and bring it together with a few quick kneads. (just keep pressing more of the dry parts into the "ball" of dough you are forming, while turning to knead a bit. It will feel like it is a complete disaster and will never come together, but I promise it will if you just keep pressing it together. But work quickly- you dont want the butter to warm up!)
*Pat the dough into a rough log and then roll it out to an 8x10 rectangle. Dust both sides with a bit of flour and then, starting with a shorter side, fold it in three like a business letter (fold one side over about a third of the way onto the dough and then bring the other side over top the one you just folded in).
*Turn the dough 90 degrees and re-roll it into an 8x10 rectangle and fold in thirds again.
*Wrap and chill for at least 30 min. To use, just roll it out to your desired thickness and shape. (can be stored in the fridge for a couple days or the freezer for a couple months- just thaw in fridge overnight before you use it.)
Apple Filling (adapted from http://www.goodeatsblog.com/ make about 12 pastries)
4 apples, cored, peeled and diced into about 1 inch pieces
small 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp or so of flour
4 T. butter
*Toss all ingredients except butter together.
*Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat and heat until the butter turns a nutty color, being careful not to burn it. (Im not sure I cooked it that long, but didnt seem to matter at all)
*Add the apple mixture and cook until apples are soft and caramelized.
*Turn apples out onto a platter or cookie sheet and allow to cool completely before using. (Can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days)
Streusel Topping (from http://www.goodeatsblog.com/)
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional, I would leave it out if you plan on using it with anything other than apples)
1/4 c. plus 2T. flour
2 1/2 T. butter
*Mix the dry ingredients together and then cut in the butter until mixture becomes crumbly
Assembly
*While the dough is chilling, make the apple filling and streusel topping.
*Roll out the dough to roughly 12x24 (I divided the dough in half and worked with two smaller pieces- then roll it to roughly 8x10. I did this between floured wax paper.)
*Cut the dough into rough squares (mine were roughly 4 inch squares) and place on baking sheet (if at any time the dough starts to stick, pop it in the fridge for a bit to harden the butter. Rolling it out on wax paper makes this really easy.)
*Place a T. or so of filling diagonally on each square. Bring two opposite corners to the middle, putting a little water in between to help seal it.
*Sprinkle each pastry with the streusel topping.
*Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 min. (I wasnt paying attention to time, I was distracted by mixing up some dough for rolls for dinner- I just pulled them out when they puffed and browned a bit. Start checking at 12 min, just to play it safe)
*Put them on a cooling rack and drizzle with icing (powdered sugar and milk) while still a little warm.

2 comments:

  1. Mmm! I've always wanted to try a puff-pastry something or other! I didn't realize you could actually (easily) MAKE puff pastry; i thought you had to buy it in the store! So exciting! I've been hearing awesome things about King Arthur Flour recipes lately too!! Like this one off Smitten Kitchen's site: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/02/thick-chewy-granola-bars/ I'm going to try 'em, and if i like 'em, make a bunch to freeze for when the baby comes. ok, sorry that was a really long comment!

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  2. Janelle- yeah, you should try it. I always thought it was something I would have to buy also, but never did. I was excited to find this recipe also. There are so many things you can do with it! The other half of this recipe is sitting in my fridge and Im just trying to decide how to use it!
    Those granola bars do look good! Let me know how they turn out if you try them. I recently froze some of my no-bake chewy granola bars (they are posted on the blog) and it worked beautifully.

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